Could these be your lucky Lotto balls?
Could these be your lucky Lotto balls?

The lotto curse could be enough to put you off entering

MANY of us may be feeling a little jealous of the Aussie woman who just scooped $107 million in the Powerball overnight.

Sure, the record winnings will completely change her life, give the Sydney mum a financial freedom she could never have imagined.

The health care professional could even give up her job and live a life of luxury.

Sounds like a dream, right?

However, just looking at the spiralled lives of past winners who've won big might be enough to shatter that illusion.

Just like Australia's biggest ever winner, the story usually starts the same.

There's shock, disbelief and tears of happiness quickly followed with promises to live an ordinary life - despite their epic bank balance.

A Sydney woman has just scooped the biggest ever Lotto win of $107 million. But is it a blessing or a curse?
A Sydney woman has just scooped the biggest ever Lotto win of $107 million. But is it a blessing or a curse?

When the Lott contacted the New South Wales woman - who has chosen to remain anonymous - directly after the draw to inform her of her life-changing win, she did just that.

"I don't understand - is this actually real?" she said.

"I don't believe it. I don't believe it. Is this a trick?"

And after initially believing she's won $107,000 she was reportedly stunned when she discovered the true eye-watering amount.

"Oh my god. That is just so much money," she told Australia's official lottery provider.

Once the shock wore off, she revealed her aspirations to buy a caravan with the money and give some to her friends and family.

But she had no intentions of giving up work.

"I'm so passionate about my job. It will drive me to do more health work for causes important to me," she told The Lott. "I'm not quite sure what to do but of course I will be helping my family."

It all sounds eerily familiar and is known as the "Lotto curse".

'IT RUINED MY LIFE'

In 2003, British teenager Callie Rogers won £1.875 million ($AU3 million) at just 16-years-old, making her the country's youngest ever lotto winner.

But just six years later, she said the seemingly lucky incident "ruined" her life.

She frittered away the cash by buying her family and friends expensive gifts and blowing thousands of dollars on huge nights out.

The teenager also bought herself breast implants and designer clothing, spending an eye-watering $AU415,000 on cocaine.

However, none of it made her happy.

Sixteen-year-old, Callie Rogers from Cockermouth in Cumbria looked like the cat that got the cream when she won $3 million in 2003. Just six years later, her life was “ruined”.
Sixteen-year-old, Callie Rogers from Cockermouth in Cumbria looked like the cat that got the cream when she won $3 million in 2003. Just six years later, her life was “ruined”.

Her love life was a mess, with her boyfriend reportedly cheated on her and she tried to take her own life.

Callie, who became a mum after winning - and losing - her fortune, was forced to go back to juggling three cleaning jobs and living with her mother.

"My life is a shambles," she said in 2009. "It's ruined my life."

By the time she was 26-year-old, Callie had just $3300 left to her name, but said she'd finally found happiness now the money was gone.

"It was too much money for someone so young. Even if you say your life won't change, it does and often not for the better," she told The Sun.

 

MURDERED FOR BEING 'WASTEFUL'

For NSW winner Maria Lou Devrell, winning $5 million in 2011 would ultimately cause the end of her life.

In this horrendous story, Maria was betrayed by her accountant Peter Joseph Kelly, someone she and her husband had known for over 20 years, according to the Herald Sun.

After their windfall, Kelly - who was frustrated by Maria's "wasteful" spending" - murdered his client with a rubber mallet in a fit of rage.

Peter Joseph Kelly, seen here entering King Street Supreme Court, used a mallet and cling wrap to bash and smother $5 million lottery winner Maria Devrell.
Peter Joseph Kelly, seen here entering King Street Supreme Court, used a mallet and cling wrap to bash and smother $5 million lottery winner Maria Devrell.

"A situation emerged in which they were spending money more quickly than it was being allocated to them by the offender,'' Justice Robert Allan Hulme said in sentencing Kelly to a maximum of 18 years in jail in 2012.

"He seems to have had the attitude that they were being wasteful.''

Maria sadly paid the ultimate price for winning big.

 

DIED PENNILESS AND ALONE

Keith Gordon thought all his Christmases had come at once when he scored $14 million back in 2005.

However, he was sadly mistaken.

The once happily married baker from Shropshire, in the UK, eventually died penniless and alone from a heart attack that was blamed on his money stress.

After his win, he'd quit his job, and lost a lot of cash from investing in dud racehorses, causing him to hit the bottle hard.

To make matters worse, Keith's wife of 25 years left him and he was admitted to rehab for his drinking.

Keith Gough won $14 million in 2005 and thought he and wife Louise were set. But he died five years later, penniless and alone.
Keith Gough won $14 million in 2005 and thought he and wife Louise were set. But he died five years later, penniless and alone.

The final nail in the coffin came when he was scammed of more than $1 million by a conman.

"My life was brilliant. But the lottery has ruined everything," he told The Times before his death in 2010.

"What's the point of having money when it sends you to bed crying?"

"I thought the lotto win was going to be the answer to my dreams. Now those dreams have turned to dust."

 

'IT BRINGS OUT THE WORST IN PEOPLE'

Perhaps one of the most notorious Lotto "curse" tales is that of British garbage man Michael Carroll.

He was just 19 when he won £9.7 million ($AU15.5 million) in 2002 but his wild ways left him with the nickname "Lotto Lout" and the "King of Chavs".

After collecting his winnings with an electronic offenders tag, he frittered away the cash on sex, drugs and countless holidays.

Michael Carroll has one of the most well-known ‘curse’ tales, losing a huge amount of money in just 10 years. Picture: AP Photo/National Lottery, HO
Michael Carroll has one of the most well-known ‘curse’ tales, losing a huge amount of money in just 10 years. Picture: AP Photo/National Lottery, HO

His wild party lasted 10 years, with Michael admitting to smoking $3000 worth of crack cocaine a just one day to help him stay awake.

It wasn't long before his wife took their daughter and moved out of their $500,000 home, and the lout started spending big on prostitutes.

"I've slept with over 4000 women," the now 35-year-old told The Mirror in 2012 after his cash disappeared. "I once slept with more than 20 in one day."

He went on to describe money as the "root of all evil" adding: "It brings out the worst in people."

 

WHEN MONEY MAKES YOU 'PREY'

Another lotto winner who came to an untimely death was Florida man Abraham Shakespeare who won a $US30 million ($AU40 million) jackpot in 2006.

Just three years later the 42-year-old vanished and his dead body was eventually found under a concrete slab. He'd been tragically shot to death.

Dee Dee Moore, a stranger who befriended him after his win, was eventually found guilty of his murder after conning him out of $1.8 million.

It was a only a slither of his huge prize, but it cost Abraham his life.

A court heard Mr Shakespeare had already given away most of his money - to anyone who asked for it - by the time he was murdered.

"Abraham Shakespeare was your prey and victim. Money was the root of evil you brought to Abraham," a judge later told her. She's serving life without parole as battles continue over his estate.

Abraham Shakespeare’s huge win made him a target for a cruel scammer. Picture: Supplied
Abraham Shakespeare’s huge win made him a target for a cruel scammer. Picture: Supplied

THERE'S MANY, MANY MORE

The sinister stories about winning big and life turning on you don't end there.

Last year, the winner of a $19 million jackpot in 1998, Jim Hayes, was jailed for stealing $55,000 in a string of bank robberies.

The millionaire turned bank robber sought a life of crime after spending his fortune on drugs and being declared bankrupt.

Another winner Gillian Bayford "disowned" her family following a $240 million win in the UK when they became "greedy".

She said the influx of cash brought out the worst in everyone, causing a huge rift among her loved ones.

"It's upsetting and raw. The money was supposed to make everybody happy. But it's made them demanding and greedy," she told the Daily Express.

And Aussie Toll courier Gary Baron ended up in a bitter dispute over the winnings of his $16.6 million prize by his co-workers.

His co-workers claimed that the win was a result of the syndicate while he said the winning ticket was purchased separately.

The two-year-long battle ended in August 2017 with the parties agreeing to a settlement on the first day of the trial.

Gillian Bayford said winning the money destroyed her life after it tore her family apart. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Gillian Bayford said winning the money destroyed her life after it tore her family apart. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

 

DEALING WITH A LOTTO FORTUNE

While winning a life-changing amount of money can be seen as a "curse" there are people who handle life with extra zeros well.

The $107 million winner has started modestly, toasting her record-breaking win with a glass of chardonnay.

When a Queensland couple scooped $70 million in the same way back in 2016, psychologist Zoe Krupka told news.com.au that winners undoubtedly needed financial counselling.

"It gives you a terrible freedom," she said. "There needs to be a step before financial counselling. Couples need to talk about how they want to spend their money and who they want to share it with.

She added the key to surviving a huge win was seeking advice on how to share the news, as it's not a secret you can keep forever.

"The reality is, it can be good for lots of people, but there's no doubt it's always really stressful."

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au

 

 

The convicted criminal spent his winnings on sex and drugs, bragging about sleeping with over 4000 women during his flush days. Picture: PA
The convicted criminal spent his winnings on sex and drugs, bragging about sleeping with over 4000 women during his flush days. Picture: PA
Dorice
Dorice "DeeDee" Moore, who was convicted of slaying Abraham Shakespeare for a slice of his cash. Picture: AP Photo/Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Bill leads the way to helping lost people in the bush

Bill leads the way to helping lost people in the bush

This short haired border collie could change protocols.

An opportunity to time travel right in your backyard

An opportunity to time travel right in your backyard

Step back in time to find out the wonders of the past.

Mother champions cause in memory of her late son

Mother champions cause in memory of her late son

Helping others is her lasting connection to Jody.