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Lotto winner's belongings go on the block

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, July 12, 2007

RIVIERA BEACH — In September 2001, a very lucky ex-con named David Lee Edwards arrived in Palm Beach County with $27 million and a history of drug abuse.

The $27 million was his take, after taxes, from Kentucky's Powerball lottery. Edwards, 46, had been laid off shortly before he bought the winning ticket at Clark's Pump N Shop in Ashland, Ky., a blue-collar town on the Ohio River where he grew up.

 

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He became a convict in the early 1980s after a gas station hold-up, followed by parole violations and arrests for drug possession. He was in and out of prison, and finally out for good in 1997.

With his sudden wealth, Edwards bought a $1.2 million home in Palm Beach Gardens' Ballen Isles community, a $240,000 Bentley and a $250,000 Lamborghini.

In December 2001, he married his fiancee, Shawna Renae Maddux, in Hawaii, and bought her a $250,000 electric blue Ferrari.

And then Edwards' troubled past apparently began to catch up with him.

In November 2005, the couple were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and heroin. Shawna Edwards pleaded to a lesser charge. David Edwards' next scheduled court date is July 24, according to the State Attorney's Office.

In July 2006, that $1.2 million home was auctioned for $400,000.

And on Saturday, much of the home's contents will go on the block in the same industrial warehouse off Garden Road where Edwards spent his final days in Palm Beach County.

"It's a no-reserve auction," said Doug Holladay, the Jupiter auctioneer who will open the bidding at 11 a.m. "If the highest bid is $1, it sells for $1. Everything goes on Saturday."

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Comments

1.
Comment by jim695 - July 31, 2007, 1:03 pm
Right. Like none of us saw that coming up Main street. I could have made this call with my eyes tied behind my back (you know what I mean).
   Of all the people profiled on the porogram, "Curse of the Lottery," I thought Mr. Edwards was the least impressive. Edwards gave us a tour of his home, and EVERYTHING had a price tag. The one item that made me laugh out loud was his $18,000 sterling silver beer stein, which he proceeded to fill with $12.00 Crown Royal whiskey.
   You can take the convict out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the convict. This is not to imply that everyone who lives in a trailer park is a convict. My point is that, even though he won $27 miliion, he failed to elevate his paycheck-to-paycheck mentality. The IMAGE of being rich was more important to him than the money; he wanted to be a big-shot. He was accustomed to spending every dime he made and, after winning his jackpot, he set out on a mission to spend every dime. Had he invested his entire jackpot, even if he had just bought bank CD's at 5%, he would have earned $1.35 million per year before taxes, and his entire fortune would still be intact, assuming he could get by on a million bucks a year.
   That type of short-sightedness is common among lottery jackpot winners, so I'll repeat my mundane, boring advice once again:
   If you're playing to win a jackpot, make an appointment and go see a financial planner NOW, BEFORE you win your jackpot. This way, when and if you do win, you'll have the information and the knowledge you'll need to KEEP your fortune, rather than being forced to watch it being auctioned off for pennies. on the dollar.
   Jim

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