Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
The time is now 3:36 pm
You last visited July 31, 2014, 3:34 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

E! Television to air 'Curse of the Lottery' Sunday

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: E! Television to air 'Curse of the Lottery' Sunday
42
Rating:

It's what dreams are made of:  buy anything you want and more.  But for some, winning the lottery is not all champagne, limousines and mansions, and brings only misery and regret.

The sudden influx of cash can lead down a dark road to drugs, bankruptcy and even death. Why does blissful prosperity rarely ensue? Are those who win big truly destined for doom?

Uncovering the stories behind 10 real-life lucky ticket holders, E! sits with lottery winners, their friends and family, as well as financial planners and lottery experts, to find out why some who score jackpot rise to the top, while others fall rock bottom.

The two-hour special episode "THS Investigates: The Curse of the Lottery" premieres Sunday, September 24 at 8pm et/pt.

The lottery is a multi-billion dollar business that is fueled by the fantasy that one ticket can mean instant fortune and happiness. For lottery winners Jack Whittaker, William "Bud" Post, Victoria Zell and Billie Bob Harrell Jr., the dream of winning big-time bucks came true, but what they ended up losing as a result was tragic.

Jack Whittaker of West Virginia won the largest Powerball jackpot in history, only to be robbed, confronted with serious legal issues and eventually have his family torn apart by alcohol and drug abuse.

Lottery winner Bud Post of Pennsylvania was almost murdered for his money when his own brother hired a hit-man to kill him in an attempt to rake in his cash.

Victoria Zell struck lottery gold in Minnesota but landed in jail after being found guilty on multiple counts of vehicular homicide.

And Texan lottery winner Billie Bob Harrell sadly ended his own life after out-of-control spending sprees and an affair left him deeply in debt and divorced.

"THS Investigates: The Curse of the Lottery" reveals the true stories behind these lottery winners and others who were transformed instantly from ordinary people into mega-millionaires.  and the troubles that seem to have inevitably followed. In this two-hour episode:

  • Jewell Whittaker, wife of lottery winner Jack Whittaker — "If I'd known what was going to transpire, honestly, I would have torn the ticket up."
  • Gladys Burrous, daughter of lottery winner Bud Post — "He constantly changed his phone number because people would call him. As soon as they could find out his number, they'd call him and ask for money. He got crazy.  He'd sit and stare at the surveillance cameras to be sure somebody wasn't going to sneak up there."
  • Gladys Burrous on her dad — "My dad got so much happier when he had nothing, after the money was gone.  He realized what was important."
  • Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Prosecuting Attorney, on lottery winner Victoria Zell — "Here was a woman that had millions and millions of dollars that just came into her hands through the lottery. And instead of putting it into good work, she frittered it away. She frittered it away on meth. She frittered it away on cocaine. And she basically frittered away her life."
  • Daryl LePage, certified financial planner, on challenges that lottery winners face — "When you win a large sum of money, you would think that your problems go away. In reality, a new set of problems come in."
  • Daryl LePage on lottery winner Billie Bob Harrell Jr. — "He was a good Christian man. But this money created a fantasy world for him. And unfortunately this was something that he lived out in real life. He gave into temptation and that's not an unusual thing to happen, when you have a large sum of money."
  • Dr. Dwayne Wolf, Harris County Medical Examiner, on the suicide of Billie Bob Harrell Jr. — "He had taken off all of his clothes. There was a shotgun laying at his feet."
  • Michael Carroll, British lottery winner — "The lottery does bring more bad than good. People around you try to dig at you. The money is the root of all evil."
  • Michael Carroll on losing his family after winning the lottery — "In some ways I think to myself if I had never won, I might still have my wife and daughter."
  • Kelly Muncaster, Michael Carroll's aunt — "Living life in a goldfish bowl, people are watching your every move and all the time making things up. I mean its destroyed our family completely."
  • Robyn Newton, winner of the Superlotto in California — "I still have a constant fear that it's going to change us, but I think an awful lot of people would slap us down if we started to wander around big headed about it."
  • Wesley Newtown, husband of Robyn Newton — "A lot of people get into drugs and everything but you got to think about the long haul. We want to be healthy. We want to be able to enjoy our lives. Now when I see the fanciest car every driving by I think I could buy that. But I don't want to."
  • Susan Bradley, certified financial planner and sudden money expert, on winning the lottery — "Everyone thinks it's a problem they'd love to have. Most people don't realize the complexity and the challenges. And if you don't respect the complexities, you can run into some pretty big, big problems."
  • Susan Bradley on the best way to claim a winning lottery ticket — "One of the first things a lottery winner should do in a perfect world is not claim the ticket in their name. You can form a blind trust, and you can have the lottery winnings put into the trust."
  • Michael Begin, certified financial planner — "If you're miserable with 10 dollars, you'll be miserable with a million dollars."

About E! Networks

Based in Los Angeles, E! Networks is the world's largest producer and distributor of entertainment news and lifestyle-related programming. The company operates E! Entertainment Television, the 24-hour network with programming dedicated to the world of entertainment; The Style Network, the destination for women 18-49 with a passion for the best in relatable and inspiring lifestyle programming, and E! Online, located at Eonline.com. E! is currently available to 87 million cable and direct broadcast satellite subscribers in the U.S. The Style Network currently counts 42 million subscribers. Internationally, E! programming can be seen in more than 120 countries worldwide, reaching 600 million homes. In addition to its ventures for locally programmed E! branded channels outside the U.S., the company operates the E! International Network, a 24-hour English language global entertainment channel available via satellite in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Press Release

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

99 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by guesser.
Page 1 of 7


Member #0
January 1, 2000
0 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 20, 2006, 4:23 pm - IP Logged

All you hear are the B A D stories Please Tell some of the Good ones.

    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
    Wandering Aimlessly
    United States
    Member #25360
    November 5, 2005
    4457 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 20, 2006, 4:30 pm - IP Logged

    We've all seen stories like this on TV and in the newspaper.  I guess they're becoming more popular these days.  I was watching Deal or No Deal the other night and a contestant's wife was screaming at him because he kept turning down a lot of money.  I joined her!  Finally he accepted $675,000 and it turned out he actually did have $2 million in his case. But if he had taken the risk and ended up with only a dollar, it would have been much, much worse.  After taxes $675K is a lot more than he started with and a record for that show but, from the look on that guy's face, I don't think he was too happy. Sometimes when I see those couples, I wonder what happened on the way home. To the best of my knowledge, no cases of spousal homicide have been reported following a game show.

    Getting back to this particular story, I think I will take my chances and continue to play the Lottery. 

     Michael Begin, certified financial planner — "If you're miserable with 10 dollars, you'll be miserable with a million dollars."

    On a spiritual level, this statement is true.  Same goes for moving to a new location or changing jobs or anything else in life.  However, if the reason you're unhappy is because you live in a bad neighborhood and can't afford the rent or you're working 60 hours and your boss is always yelling at you, or you can't get rid of that toothache because a dentist wants $500 for a root canal,  then I disagree with it wholeheartedly.  My version of the above statement is "it's a heck of a lot better to be rich and miserable than poor and miserable. At least if you are rich and miserable you can take a long vacation and be miserable sipping margaritas on your boat."

      sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
      PA
      United States
      Member #22983
      October 6, 2005
      2010 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 20, 2006, 5:47 pm - IP Logged

      Good stories are too boring, and there are far more good than bad. However the media likes to focus on the negative ones, as that is what human nature is typically attracted to. Misery loves company. Of course a sudden windfall is not going to buy intelligence and wisdom. But I think they are taking the most extreme cases to show what can "possibly" happen but actually rarely ever does.

      Most of the winners already had messed up lives to begin with, and was ill-prepared to handle such money. Most are not like the players here, like myself, who have spent many years planning for a windfall and are tailor-made for it when it happens. But that is a story that is far too perfect and positive to publish.

      The majority of the miserable population wants to hear that those who won more money than they will ever have, somehow lost it all and became worse than they originally were. Flukes can happen, but for the most part those cases occurred from pure stupidity and overall lack preparedness. I have already been through the worst, so bring on the lottery curse. Please.

        Avatar
        Coastal Georgia
        United States
        Member #2653
        October 30, 2003
        1866 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 20, 2006, 6:25 pm - IP Logged

        We've all seen stories like this on TV and in the newspaper.  I guess they're becoming more popular these days.  I was watching Deal or No Deal the other night and a contestant's wife was screaming at him because he kept turning down a lot of money.  I joined her!  Finally he accepted $675,000 and it turned out he actually did have $2 million in his case. But if he had taken the risk and ended up with only a dollar, it would have been much, much worse.  After taxes $675K is a lot more than he started with and a record for that show but, from the look on that guy's face, I don't think he was too happy. Sometimes when I see those couples, I wonder what happened on the way home. To the best of my knowledge, no cases of spousal homicide have been reported following a game show.

        Getting back to this particular story, I think I will take my chances and continue to play the Lottery. 

         Michael Begin, certified financial planner — "If you're miserable with 10 dollars, you'll be miserable with a million dollars."

        On a spiritual level, this statement is true.  Same goes for moving to a new location or changing jobs or anything else in life.  However, if the reason you're unhappy is because you live in a bad neighborhood and can't afford the rent or you're working 60 hours and your boss is always yelling at you, or you can't get rid of that toothache because a dentist wants $500 for a root canal,  then I disagree with it wholeheartedly.  My version of the above statement is "it's a heck of a lot better to be rich and miserable than poor and miserable. At least if you are rich and miserable you can take a long vacation and be miserable sipping margaritas on your boat."

        I saw that show too... He actually had $ 3 Million in his case...he correctly picked his case from among , what is it, 25 ?

        He turned down $600K , then accepted $675K, but had he went on...

        He would have been offered $1.1 Million...

        I bet he sure would have taken that and walked !!!!

         

        DD

         

                                       

                      

         

         

          TheGameGrl's avatar - p42a
          Pennsylvania
          United States
          Member #17084
          June 10, 2005
          3110 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 20, 2006, 6:55 pm - IP Logged

          I concur whole heartedly with Sirbrads comments! Bring on the curse, and I will gladly bless it with wonderous results!

          As to the tv drama, its A-typical for the meida to spruce up the negative. Thus why reading a good book and sipping sweet southern tea is a dream come true no matter what income ya have :)

          ________________________________

          Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
            United States
            Member #25360
            November 5, 2005
            4457 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 20, 2006, 7:41 pm - IP Logged

            DD, I wasn't sure. $3 million.  Ouch!  That makes it even worse.  I think he was going for that one extra shot and his wife was going crazy and he was sweating so much that he caved in, but that must have really hurt!  Still, I'd love to win $675,000 but walking away knowing you actually had the $3 million in your case....  You're right - it was #25, which I think was his wedding anniversary or some special date.  Still, I probably would have walked away sooner, so I think he was very lucky. I wonder how many people would actually go for it when there was still a $1 case?

              jeffrey's avatar - moon
              Hamilton, OH
              United States
              Member #4162
              March 27, 2004
              277 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 20, 2006, 9:12 pm - IP Logged

              People are as happy as they want to be; after they have the basics of living. Most people don't need more.

              All lottery winners have the chore of saying no and the crazies who chase their money. Keep the secret and find your joy.

                Avatar
                Coastal Georgia
                United States
                Member #2653
                October 30, 2003
                1866 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: September 20, 2006, 9:12 pm - IP Logged

                DD, I wasn't sure. $3 million.  Ouch!  That makes it even worse.  I think he was going for that one extra shot and his wife was going crazy and he was sweating so much that he caved in, but that must have really hurt!  Still, I'd love to win $675,000 but walking away knowing you actually had the $3 million in your case....  You're right - it was #25, which I think was his wedding anniversary or some special date.  Still, I probably would have walked away sooner, so I think he was very lucky. I wonder how many people would actually go for it when there was still a $1 case?

                JXP, hindsight is 20/20 as they say, but he was dead-on right .

                How many people are that lucky to nail the right case  ? 

                Anyway, he should be ( and I'm sure he is ) happy to get the $675K, and yes, he was sweating like a ( well...you know )....____ in church...

                 

                DD

                 

                                               

                              

                 

                 

                  Avatar
                  Coastal Georgia
                  United States
                  Member #2653
                  October 30, 2003
                  1866 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: September 21, 2006, 5:02 pm - IP Logged

                  Regarding the original story here, just let me win a PB or MM jackpot and I will show everyone that it is NOT a curse. Banana

                  They can choose to portray the "losers" if they like because after all, it's ratings they are after and sad stories sell....No Pity!

                   

                  I would bust their little bubble..Boxing 

                  DD

                   

                                                 

                                

                   

                   

                    justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                    Wandering Aimlessly
                    United States
                    Member #25360
                    November 5, 2005
                    4457 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: September 21, 2006, 11:06 pm - IP Logged

                     All I can say is......

                                                I Agree!

                      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                      Zeta Reticuli Star System
                      United States
                      Member #30470
                      January 17, 2006
                      8940 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: September 22, 2006, 12:05 am - IP Logged

                      Regarding the original story here, just let me win a PB or MM jackpot and I will show everyone that it is NOT a curse. Banana

                      They can choose to portray the "losers" if they like because after all, it's ratings they are after and sad stories sell....No Pity!

                       

                      I would bust their little bubble..Boxing 

                      DD

                      Touche. 

                      Don't forget though guys, statistics say that three out of five lottery winners are bankrupt within five years, and has been pointed out in this thread, that's what makes news!

                      I'm going to try and watch this, hoping that a couple of heavy players I know watch it.  

                        Avatar
                        New Member
                        NC
                        United States
                        Member #41968
                        June 25, 2006
                        16 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: September 22, 2006, 12:10 am - IP Logged

                        Me to the lotto winners:

                        "Awwww, I'm so gosh awful sorry that you guys won the lotto. What a curse."

                         

                        Me to God:

                        "Dear Lord, will you please curse me to win the PB lottery today. Amen."

                          tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

                          United States
                          Member #5344
                          June 30, 2004
                          23622 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: September 22, 2006, 7:53 am - IP Logged

                          A person is as happy as they allow themselves to be...

                          It doesn't take Money to make one happy... 

                               OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44

                            Avatar

                            United States
                            Member #10720
                            January 23, 2005
                            932 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: September 23, 2006, 12:17 am - IP Logged

                            It's something how virtually every negative story about Lottery winners mentions Jack Whittaker. (I could not find the slot machine he supposedly invented at Caesars)

                            Often a Lottery win became a curse because of events and situations leading up to the day of the win. The more ex-lovers and the more a person depended on others plus their intelligence and their caring or not caring what others think of them, the more these situations are magnified after a win. I always say that whoever was there for me in the past, I would be there for them in the future. I wouldn't care the least if someone stopped liking me because I didn't give them money.