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Powerball winner dies penniless, 12 years after winning $27 million

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Powerball winner dies penniless, 12 years after winning $27 million
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David Edwards spent $12 million in his first year as a millionaire

A Powerball winner has died broke and all alone in hospice care, just 12 years after raking in $27 million cash from a lottery jackpot.

David Lee Edwards, a convicted felon from Ashland, Kentucky, bought a mansion in a gated community, dozens of expensive cars and even a LearJet with the share of a record $280 million jackpot he won in August 2001.

But drug addiction and his free-spending ways left Edwards and his wife Shawna broke and living in a squalid storage unit contaminated with human feces within five years. Shawna left him not long after and remarried.

In the end, Edwards' first ex-wife and her husband drove him from Florida back home to Ashland. He died in hospice care Saturday at age 58.

Edwards' friends and family say his tragic story can serve as a parable about the corrupting influence of money. By the end of his life he had lost every last penny of his $27 million fortune and died owing thousands of dollars to friends.

Both Edwards and Shawna contracted hepatitis from their needle drug use and both were arrested multiple times and had numerous run-ins with police for possession of crack cocaine, prescription pills and heroin, Lottery Post reported in 2007. (See Lottery winner goes from rags to riches to ragsLottery Post, Aug. 22, 2007.)

Shawna bounced into and out of drug rehab for addition to OxyContin and other drugs.

Shortly after winning, Edwards bought a $1.6 million, 6,000-square-foot house in a private tennis and golf community in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He spend $600,000 on another home nearby.

He paid $1.9 million for a LearJet, bought three losing racehorses and acquired a fiber optics installation company and a limo business for $4.5 million.

He paid his ex-wife $500,000 to hand over custody of his teenage daughter Tiffani. She couldn't drive at the time, but he bought her a $35,000 Hummer golf cart to drive around the community.

He collected cars - he treated himself to a $200,000 Lamborghini Diablo super car and a $90,000 Dodge Viper.

At one point, he had $1 million in vehicles parked in front of his house - so many that his neighbors complained that the upscale home in the upscale community started to look like a car dealership.

He invited in an NBC News TV crew and bragged that he was wearing a $78,000 diamond-encrusted gold watch and a $159,000 ring. He showed off his $30,000 plasma screen TV.

Edwards also amassed a collection 200 swords, armor and antiques — all of it cheap reproductions.

In his first three months as a millionaire, he spent $3 million. One year after his win, he had spent $12 million, the New Times estimates.

He lost every bit of it by 2006.

Edwards intended to do right. On the day that he publicly claimed his winnings, he promised to use his money responsibly.

"You know, a lot of people, they're out of work. Doesn't have hardly anything," he told reporters.

"And so I didn't want to accept this money by saying I'm going to get mansions and I'm going to get cars, I'm going to do this and that. I would like to accept it with humility.

"I want this money to last, for me, for my future wife, for my daughter and future generations."

Shortly after his win, he hired a financial adviser and a lawyer to look after his assets.

"If he followed my advice, he'd be pulling in about $85,000 a month for the rest of his life," financial planner James Gibbs said in 2007.

Instead, Gibbs says, Edwards sold off the stocks and bonds that Gibbs invested on his behalf.

On Tuesday, his daughter, Tiffani Lee Edwards, said that her father had left her with nothing — not even a life insurance policy.

"There is NO MONEY anywhere!!!!" she wrote on Facebook.

Tiffani, whom Edwards enrolled in a private college prep academy in South Florida during his short brush with wealth, now works as a clerk at an amusement park in West Virginia.

Before he won the lottery, Edwards was unemployed and living with his then-girlfriend Shawna, who is 19 years his junior.

He had spent a third of his life in prison after he was arrested for armed robbery.

He borrowed money from a friend to pay his water bill. After he got his water turned on, he used the rest to buy a pizza and $7 worth of lotto tickets from Clark's Pump-N-Shop.

He picked the winning numbers himself and shared the $280 million jackpot with three other winners. His $41 million lump sum portion came out to $27 million after taxes.

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Thanks to w794728 for the tip.

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82 comments. Last comment 7 months ago by fwlawrence.
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maringoman's avatar - kobold
Massachusetts
United States
Member #37433
April 14, 2006
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Posted: December 3, 2013, 5:49 pm - IP Logged

If you fail to plan you are planning to fail. RIP Mr Edwards.

It's a futile effort.

    s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
    Hard Luck, Ak
    United States
    Member #23472
    October 13, 2005
    251 Posts
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    Posted: December 3, 2013, 5:50 pm - IP Logged

    No Pity!Sad....that he couldn't leave the drugs alone and control his spending. A chance of a lifetime wasted! RIP

    "We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                                   Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

      dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
      Oklahoma
      United States
      Member #82391
      November 12, 2009
      5214 Posts
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      Posted: December 3, 2013, 5:51 pm - IP Logged

      May he RIP.

      I Love Pink & Green 1908

        hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

        United States
        Member #52345
        May 21, 2007
        1789 Posts
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        Posted: December 3, 2013, 6:02 pm - IP Logged

        If you fail to plan you are planning to fail. RIP Mr Edwards.

        well put maringoman

        but I'll always have a hard time having sympathy for him 

        by the same token thats the reason some of us will never win , if only cause the few of us have a game plan

          maringoman's avatar - kobold
          Massachusetts
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          April 14, 2006
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          Posted: December 3, 2013, 6:13 pm - IP Logged

          well put maringoman

          but I'll always have a hard time having sympathy for him 

          by the same token thats the reason some of us will never win , if only cause the few of us have a game plan

          Yes. Its like the decider of who wins the lottery has a great sense of humor. Some guy in SC decides to play PB for the first time and hit a $400M jp on 09/18/13. Then another guys wins a crazy jp and let their ticket expire. And then we the dillidgent ones cannot even win $1,000. Its crazy.

          It's a futile effort.

            mypiemaster's avatar - peace
            He who dies with the most toys WINS!!!.

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            April 2, 2013
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            Posted: December 3, 2013, 6:19 pm - IP Logged

            Blessed with money, cursed with addiction. He LIVED, the way he knew how. At least he had some fun. RIPBlue Angel

            Seekand ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

            Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

              Avatar

              United States
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              November 19, 2002
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              Posted: December 3, 2013, 6:30 pm - IP Logged

                               This article is missing some key pieces. I don't believe everything that I read. Something is not right about this article. He had cars, a lear jet and a house. What happenend to the those items?  It is hard for me to believe that this man lost everything that he had.  It is hard to read credible news articles these days.

              Jammboogie

                Avatar
                florida
                United States
                Member #76332
                June 24, 2009
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                Posted: December 3, 2013, 7:12 pm - IP Logged

                I recall watching a documentary called the "curse of the Lottery" and it featured this guy, knew it was only a matter of time till his demise. RIP

                never take advise from someone unless you are willing to live their lifestyle

                  dpoly1's avatar - driver
                  PA
                  United States
                  Member #66141
                  October 16, 2008
                  1434 Posts
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                  Posted: December 3, 2013, 7:33 pm - IP Logged

                  You never purchase a Lear Jet!

                  You purchase hours on a FlexJet Card and only pay for the time that you use the jet!

                  Your other purchases must be made on the scale of the money that is won and any return on investments!

                  Smash

                  dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                   

                  Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                    helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                    u$a
                    United States
                    Member #106669
                    February 22, 2011
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                    Posted: December 3, 2013, 7:37 pm - IP Logged

                    Blessed with money, cursed with addiction. He LIVED, the way he knew how. At least he had some fun. RIPBlue Angel

                    I Agree!

                                     

                      helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                      u$a
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                      February 22, 2011
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                      Posted: December 3, 2013, 7:40 pm - IP Logged

                                       This article is missing some key pieces. I don't believe everything that I read. Something is not right about this article. He had cars, a lear jet and a house. What happenend to the those items?  It is hard for me to believe that this man lost everything that he had.  It is hard to read credible news articles these days.

                       

                      he lost the NICE mansion maybe due to taxesNo Nod

                                       

                        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
                        United States
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                        Posted: December 3, 2013, 7:41 pm - IP Logged

                         

                        he lost the NICE mansion maybe due to taxesNo Nod

                        He also owed the HOA a ton of money.

                        Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                          haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                          egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
                          United States
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                          June 29, 2011
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                          Posted: December 3, 2013, 7:42 pm - IP Logged

                          You never purchase a Lear Jet!

                          You purchase hours on a FlexJet Card and only pay for the time that you use the jet!

                          Your other purchases must be made on the scale of the money that is won and any return on investments!

                          Smash

                          I Agree!

                          Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                            Bay Area/ California
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                            December 12, 2012
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                            Posted: December 3, 2013, 7:42 pm - IP Logged

                            You never purchase a Lear Jet!

                            You purchase hours on a FlexJet Card and only pay for the time that you use the jet!

                            Your other purchases must be made on the scale of the money that is won and any return on investments!

                            Smash

                            You right. Showing folk that you can afford a jet on a $27 mil win is ludicrous. Trying to maintain that bird is not cheap, its not like he bought a horse and could dump a bale of hay in front of it and say " Okay- eat through that one, there's plenty of that stuff!"
                            Millionaires living beyond their means. I sure would have hoped that he left his daughter at least a mil to start her life...but alas nothing.