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Powerball lottery winner Andrew "Jack" Whittaker dies at 72

Jul 2, 2020, 12:56 pm

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Jack WhittakerJack Whittaker: Powerball lottery winner Andrew "Jack" Whittaker dies at 72Rating:

Won record-breaking jackpot, then suffered unprecedented string of bad luck

By Kate Northrop

CHARLESTON, W.V. — Andrew "Jack" Whittaker, a Powerball player infamous for the string of bad luck following his record-breaking jackpot win, died at the age of 72 on Saturday, June 27 after battling a long illness, according to his obituary.

In December 2002, Whittaker, 55, won the $315 million Powerball Jackpot in West Virginia, the largest-ever jackpot won by a single ticket at the time. He was well-known as someone who embodied the "lottery curse," a type of misfortune that ensues for those who win the lottery, including bankruptcy or other tragic events. After taking home about $113 million after taxes, Whittaker's life took an unfortunate turn.

Less than a year after winning the jackpot, the downward spiral began. He was riddled with personal and legal troubles, developed a drinking problem, and tended to frequent strip clubs. A wide-spread rumor began circulating that he had a habit for leaving huge amounts of cash on him wherever he went. In one instance, thieves reportedly stole a mindboggling $545,000 from his car in a strip club parking lot while he was inside the club. Not even a year later, another set of robbers broke into his car and stole a briefcase that held $200,000. Thankfully, the $200,000 was recovered by law enforcement, but unfortunately the $545,000 was not.

Whittaker also got involved in scams where people would look to gain access to his deep pockets. His company was slammed with frivolous lawsuits by strangers, which cost him millions in legal fees. At some point, he reported that thieves had drained his bank account. He was also sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing checks worth $1.5 million to cover his gambling losses.

Sadly, robbers and legalities were the least of his troubles.

He had a very close relationship with his granddaughter, Brandi Bragg, 17, and gifted her four cars and a $2,000-a-week allowance. The continuous influx of cash backfired and attracted the wrong kind of attention. She began suffering from a substance abuse disorder, potentially fueled by the large sums of money he gave her. Whittaker used his money to help her curb her addiction, albeit unsuccessfully, and checked her into rehab centers multiple times.

In 2004, Brandi's boyfriend, Jimmy Tribble, 18, died of a drug overdose in Whittaker's home. Just three months later, Brandi met the same fate. Her body was found wrapped in plastic and dumped behind a van by a friend who panicked when he found her dead. Her cause of death was deemed "undetermined," although she had cocaine and methamphetamines in her system.

No one was arrested. For the rest of his life, Whittaker was haunted by his granddaughter's death. While attending his own hearing for a DUI he committed in 2003, he angrily criticized law enforcement agencies for an inability to find justice for his granddaughter.

"She was going to inherit everything," Whittaker professed.

In 2008, Whittaker's wife, Jewell, filed for divorce after 42 years of marriage. With the assets Whittaker possessed, the proceedings were ugly and drawn-out, lasting for three years.

In 2009, Whittaker's daughter and Brandi's mother, Ginger, died of cancer. He decided to leave his troubles behind and left West Virginia for a new home in Virginia.

In 2016, his Virginia home burned down while he was on his way to work.

On several occasions, Whittaker wished he had torn up that fateful Powerball ticket. He acknowledged that his legacy would be viewed in a negative light and frequently expressed remorse.

"I'm only going to be remembered as the lunatic who won the lottery," he said. "I'm not proud of that. I wanted to be remembered as someone who helped a lot of people."

Indeed, he had good intentions. After his win, he paid a 10% portion of his winnings directly to Christian charities and donated $14 million to the Jack Whittaker Foundation, which provides food and clothing to low-income families in West Virginia. Then, he gifted a $123,000 house, a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a $44,000 check to the woman who sold him the winning ticket at the C&L SuperServe convenience store in Hurricane.

Whittaker was also successful at the time he won the prize — he was worth about $17 million after having built his contracting and construction company from the ground up.

"I've had to work for everything in my life," he said. "This is the first thing that's ever been given to me."

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34 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by Murgatroyd.
Page 1 of 3
Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
Member #17842
June 28, 2005
134733 Posts

RIP: Andrew Jackson!

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

    United States
    Member #204616
    February 18, 2020
    292 Posts

    His death should've galvanized a movement by lotto players to make all big lotto winners ID anonymous against vultures.

    Unfortunately, most state lottos are more concerned about using lotto winners in their commercials than their safety.

    RIP Jack, better luck next life.

      Chasing $ Millions.
      White Shores- California
      United States
      Member #136473
      December 12, 2012
      6398 Posts

      Despite Jack's misfortune, l would bet there are millions of people who wouldn't have mind walking in his shoes. Winning the lottery, burning through your fortune & ending up where you started is an ongoing theme with many jackpot winners. David Edwards was one, another was that idiot in a hot tub with a glass of champagne in one hand and gold chains around his neck. I never knew Jack but l think he lived life to his fullest. One thing he has going for him- he is in the lottery history book.

       * Voice of Reason *   


      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

        music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
        USN United States Navy
        Fresno, California
        United States
        Member #157851
        August 2, 2014
        3959 Posts

        Many lessons taught here.  Avoid the media and don't flash your cash in public. Pledging and promising gifts to charities, friends and strangers is stupid.

          Be quiet like you are now. Be satisfied with posting here on Lottery Post with a degree of privacy.

         Learn from the experiences throughout life. 

         Why gamble and frequent strip clubs? Alcohol is another trap. Illegal drugs have shown themselves to be deadly.

         I hope that Jack is together with his daughter and granddaughter in heaven. Do not deny the power of God.

          Cassie8620's avatar - oGH0ok
          United States
          Member #180566
          March 13, 2017
          4412 Posts

          Many lessons taught here.  Avoid the media and don't flash your cash in public. Pledging and promising gifts to charities, friends and strangers is stupid.

            Be quiet like you are now. Be satisfied with posting here on Lottery Post with a degree of privacy.

           Learn from the experiences throughout life. 

           Why gamble and frequent strip clubs? Alcohol is another trap. Illegal drugs have shown themselves to be deadly.

           I hope that Jack is together with his daughter and granddaughter in heaven. Do not deny the power of God.

          Alcohol, ugh.smh. socially sure, but i don't even do that, not really, because it can become addictive "trap" you're so right.

          I agree on strip club stuff too ...

          MUSIC, you are 100% percent accurate.


          When "strip clubs, do not do anything for a guy but T.H.C.(take his cash) $$$


          (My brothers said this, as they have never gone to them,only 1 or 2 parties, bachelor parties.)but i agree, what a waste, and i wish he lived longer though, alot of people do,but GOD has him at peace now,with his beloved grand-daughter 

          + daughter.

          RIP sir.

          Winning so far this year:



          So,Let's Go NC !!!Banana Time 2 break the bank, baby!!!

          0310 0131 0908 1623 2460 2464 2852 3009 3522 3856

          4468 6384 4767 6393  7447 7546 7647 7687 7678 8665 8667

          6442 0305 0306 1061 1106,1120,1114,1117,1211

          1212 1031 1034, 1215,7678 7897, 7898 8768 8486

          4764 4774 6747 7077   4774 7447 3533,5592,5593,5910,5925...

          7640 7689 7898 8667 8798 9009 9899 9178 9817 9887

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            United States
            Member #66139
            October 16, 2008
            1993 Posts

            Rest In Peace .............

            Sad Cheers

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


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

              MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
              Beautiful Florida
              United States
              Member #5709
              July 18, 2004
              24452 Posts

              Jack had Fortune and Misfortune in the same environment. From what I've heard,

              he was a good person, until the lottery win. I hope he's at peace with himself now

              RIP Jack Whittaker.



                                                             "Slander becomes the tool of the loser when the debate is lost." - Socrates.

                United States
                Member #163184
                January 22, 2015
                2327 Posts

                Sad news there.  If he had any financial advisers they weren't much help, but then again seems like he may have had his own agenda.   Loose lips sink ships and many bottom feeders got the best of him.


                RIP Jack.

                  maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #124612
                  March 16, 2012
                  3713 Posts

                  This might be the first peace he's had since his lottery win.  RIP Jack.

                    BuyLow's avatar - fd725949c52faf3bef0a9e377747408d -iphone-wallpaper-palm-trees.jpg
                    United States
                    Member #61433
                    May 22, 2008
                    1212 Posts

                    Thanks for setting an example NONE should follow!  Hope there are lots of hookers and cocaine wherever you ended up!  Jester

                      partlycloudy07's avatar - Trek HAND3.gif
                      North Carolina
                      United States
                      Member #163492
                      February 1, 2015
                      2743 Posts

                      But how's the lady in the convenience store doing ? Just kidding .......RIP had not read his story but we would all like to think that winning the big jackpot wouldn't go to our heads but unless you have then you really can't say I've known people that won big sums of money and it was not a happy outcome (not as much as this man just a few million) His wife left after 42 yrs she must have been really fed up with the SB's and party lifestyle but notice she probably didn't want out until the money was gone . Me personally b/c gamblers usually win the money I think they should have a waiting period and maybe you should take a class on how to manage your money ..........just b/c a TRUE gambler has no restraint we have to have that person tell us no . I'm sure he had good intentions with no self control . RIP Jack !

                      “You cannot solve a problem at the same level it was created" .......Albert Einstein


                      Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks (every time I send a deal to the banker ROFL

                        "Wherever there is number, there is beauty." -- Proclus

                      visit my blog 


                      Pick 4 pets 1917 , 1921, 5509 , 1970

                        sully16's avatar - sharan
                        President Elect
                        United States
                        Member #81738
                        October 28, 2009
                        78329 Posts

                        RIP Jack.

                        Safety First, no, COFFEE FIRST!  Coffee

                          United States
                          Member #191895
                          August 27, 2018
                          683 Posts

                          I still think the best think to do is a CDARS Account held in a LLC with the ticket cashing in process handled by an attorney shielding the person's identity.

                          All number sets are contenders until the drawing occurs.

                            greatguy's avatar - peace
                            United States
                            Member #198167
                            May 13, 2019
                            107 Posts

                            When reading the 1/2 million stolen out of the Car at the Strip Club back in the day.

                            Had a feeling this wasn't going to end well, Hope he had a Will. Thanks for the update.