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The Learning Channel profiles big lottery winners

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: The Learning Channel profiles big lottery winners

David Edwards, an ex-con from Kentucky who through a stroke of luck moved uptown to a gated community in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, stole the show Sunday in Lottery Homes.

The program, which aired at 9 p.m. on The Learning Channel, looked at seven lottery winners around the country -- before and after they struck it rich.

"They were all wonderful and all down-to-earth," says Alice McGee, one of the show's producers. "They don't have the attitude of the manner born."

Still, she notes, "Mr. Edwards stood out because of his story. He's lived a life of extremes. I think he's also living in a different extreme these days."

Indeed, from unemployment and a blank future in Westwood, Ky., to a fleet of cars, his own private jet, luxurious homes and a household staff, all because of six random numbers in a game called Powerball.

In August 2001, Edwards had only two more unemployment checks to count on when he plopped down $7 on an 80-million-to-1 shot.

Sometimes miracles happen, and one occurred that night. In a Sun-Sentinel story that ran Oct. 28, 2002, Edwards described falling to his knees in a parking lot and "praising the Lord for five minutes at least" upon learning of his exquisitely good fortune.

Opting for a lump-sum payout, he walked away with nearly $29 million after taxes.

He and his then girlfriend and now wife have been living it up ever since. The first year alone, he ran through more than $12 million, an estimated $5.2 million of that going to charity.

A colorful character, with a gift for gab, Edwards could have been a show all by himself, says McGee.

"He has such a natural storytelling ability he's a producer's dream. His stories have a beginning, middle and end, and there's always a payoff."

McGee was equally impressed that Edwards seemed sincerely determined not to allow his riches to define him.

During the interviews, he told her "I moved to Palm Beach [Gardens] because my money wouldn't stand out here."

He wanted that anonymity, she says, wanted to be treated like regular folks.

"Nobody is prepared for winning the lottery," says McGee, "but Edwards handled it well."

Among the other winners profiled on the show are twins, a former McDonald's worker who has since died, and a California woman who was living in an Econo Lodge when $90 million catapulted her into the economic stratosphere.

Sun-Sentinel

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11 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by four4me.
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United States
Member #972
December 30, 2002
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Posted: March 7, 2005, 12:57 pm - IP Logged

>Opting for a lump-sum payout, he walked away with nearly $29 million after taxes. He and his then girlfriend and now wife have been living it up ever since. The first year alone, he ran through more than $12 million, an estimated $5.2 million of that going to charity.

I say "Oh I would never burn through a third of my winnings in one year" but you just never know until it happens to you, do you? I would try to keep in mind that this was a one time shot, I would never win again and I'll want to have money in 35 years. 

    Litebets27's avatar - power
    Maryland
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    January 14, 2005
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    Posted: March 7, 2005, 1:06 pm - IP Logged

    Yes, but most of his money went in lavish material investments such as one of a kind pieces of furnishings and rare art pieces along with the Plam Beach area home and expensive cars. If for some reason he goes broke, he does have these things to sell.

    litebets

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      New Member
      louisville, kentucky
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      March 8, 2005
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      Posted: March 8, 2005, 8:27 pm - IP Logged

       I am close to losing my home due to large debts.  If anyone can reach Mr. Edwards, I could really use some financial assistance, but I don't want to be a  begger. I would even pay him back if I could just lower my interest rates substantially. I still work, I am just falling further behind.

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        Oregon
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        Member #11764
        February 23, 2005
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        Posted: March 20, 2005, 3:28 pm - IP Logged

        What is it about lottery winners that makes beggars gravitate towards them?


          United States
          Member #379
          June 5, 2002
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          Posted: March 21, 2005, 9:36 am - IP Logged

          Even felons win the lottery.

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
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            Posted: March 21, 2005, 9:57 am - IP Logged
            Quote: Originally posted by Blalron on March 20, 2005



            What is it about lottery winners that makes beggars gravitate towards them?





            uh, money.

             

            Check the State Lottery Report Card
            What grade did your lottery earn?

             

            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
            Help eliminate computerized drawings!


              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
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              Posted: March 22, 2005, 9:42 am - IP Logged

              Good answer! Good answer!!

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                United States
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                August 4, 2003
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                Posted: March 22, 2005, 10:14 am - IP Logged

                The Learning Channel should balance this with a show about LOTTERY JUNKIES who are convinced they'll hit "the big one" and burn through money they can't afford to lose!

                They would have enough for an entire series.


                  United States
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                  Posted: March 22, 2005, 11:48 am - IP Logged

                  I don't think as many would watch.

                    Litebets27's avatar - power
                    Maryland
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                    Posted: March 23, 2005, 10:53 am - IP Logged
                    Quote: Originally posted by Sleepingdogslie on March 22, 2005



                    The Learning Channel should balance this with a show about LOTTERY JUNKIES who are convinced they'll hit "the big one" and burn through money they can't afford to lose!

                    They would have enough for an entire series.




                    Do you actual know people who would go on national tv and admit that they have lost all control over playing the lottery?
                      four4me's avatar - gate1
                      MD
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                      June 18, 2003
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                      Posted: March 23, 2005, 11:00 am - IP Logged

                      For the right price i know some Baltimorons that might.