Lottery Winners: Drugs, Bank Robberies & Murder 

28th of February, 2019

Drugs, crime and murder.

If I asked you to think about everything you would do if you won the lotto, would those three things come to mind?

Probably not.

But the reality is deeply disturbing. Your investment psychology and ability to control your cash flow is so important in determining your financial outcome. This point cannot be stressed enough.

Psychology and your ability to control your cashflow will dictate your Net wealth.

Winning the lotto is not only many people’s dream but unfortunately their retirement plan too. Having a massive influx of money when you are unprepared, having poor spending habits and do not have the psychological ability to deal with it, can result in some extreme behaviour and dire outcomes.

There are plenty of examples of crazy stuff previous lotto winners have wasted their money on. Exotic cars, luxurious yachts, jets and oceanfront mansions. Racehorses, restaurant chains and strip clubs. Some have even been as stupid as to build water parks, buy soccer clubs and one even started their own women’s professional wrestling league – Wrestlicious…

Image by Toby_Parsons on Pixabay

Couple these excesses with extravagant parties, copious amounts of drugs, cosmetic surgery and you see why bankruptcy is always knocking on their door and unfortunately, early death is likely.

Gee whiz. That escalated quickly.

I told you this would get grim.


The odds of winning an Australian lottery start at 1 in 8,145,060. Oz Lotto tests our luck at 1 in 45,379,620 and Powerball reaches for the stars, pushes our odds of winning at 1 in 76,676,600.

And the reality is, many of you reading this may not even enter the lottery — each to their own.

Isn’t that nice to hear ????

So how is it that those “lucky” enough to win lotto are so often train wrecks of disaster?

Take the example of Daniel Carley who won $3.7m in 2006. However, by 2012 he was in so much debt that he turned to drug dealing to make ends meet. He did end up living rent free – in a US penitentiary!

Image by geralt on Pixabay

William Post must surely regret the day in 1988 when he was handed his $16.2M cheque. His wife tried to sue him, his brother tried to murder him, and he ended up living on food stamps owing millions of dollars.

Garbage collector Mickey Carroll thought his luck had changed when his numbers came up and he immediately took to spending all of his £9.7m of winnings on drug filled parties, ostentatious cars and jewellery. Dubbed the “Lotto Lout” within 8 years he was back scratching a living with a minimum wage job.

Jim Hayes once said “They should have a mandatory class on what to do when you win… Because money doesn’t equal happiness — it can really screw up your life.” He should know, he won $19m in 1998 but chewed through all the dosh and he ended up robbing banks – 10 of them by the time he was caught!

How is it that money doesn’t buy happiness?

Why is it that money doesn’t solve people’s problems?


Strong spending habits are critical if you want to live a happy life. Being able to live within your means, even saving a little something to invest will have a profound impact on your happiness.

It seems hard to swallow the statement that “more money will not solve your money troubles” when you are struggling to get by. But controlling your cashflow is one of the most important skills you can learn.

Don’t believe me?

Then please explain to me how a smart guy like Jack Whittaker from Virginia could possibly win $315M and be penniless within 5 years…..

That’s impressive! Imagine the points he could have scored on his credit card for +$60m of purchases each year.

In 2002, Jack became the largest individual jackpot winner in the history of the US.


If winning $315M doesn’t solve you cashflow requirements, then I reckon its safe to say NOTHING WILL!

All these “winners” (I use that term loosely as I think they would all agree that they lost the day they won the lotto) had NO control over their personal cashflow.

So here are my top 5 focus areas to help you maximise your personal finances and not become a statistic like 70% of lottery winners who end up stone-cold broke.


1. Cashflow is critical – put measures in place to control it

Let’s start with first things first.

Frivolous spending can be fun. But you must understand the cash flow around each purchase.

If you cannot control your spending, you will continue to live a life of impoverishment. Harsh yes, but you must learn to live within your means. Spend less than you earn. Boring. Simple, but critical!

It isn’t the one-off purchases that typically crush people financially but instead the ongoing monthly commitments that continue to mount month after month, year after year.

This concept helps explain how doctors and lawyers earning large sums of money often end up living a live where they are drowning in debt. Debt on cars, houses, the tax department and unfortunately often to ex-spouses!

For those of us who are not great with a budget, the easiest way to solve this problem is to save 10% of your earnings.

Have your wages split with 10% being paid directly into an account you can’t easily access. Then regardless of how you spend the rest, as long as you don’t overspend, you WILL become a financial superstar!

2. Psychology is critical

Everything you have created in your life up until now is a result of your vision, mindset and underlying psychology.

Therefore, your psychology around money is critical if you are to master your emotions, create a powerful financial destiny and leave a legacy for your loved ones.

Create a mindset around growing your wealth instead of spending it. Spending on doodads is easy. Growing your wealth and building a legacy requires rock-solid psychology around money.

Be prepared and have a process in place to snowball your family’s wealth creation.

Having a plan with well thought out goals is critical. It will allow you to focus your efforts and thus help control your spendthrift emotions in favour of your chosen goal.

Remember Oak trees grow from Acorns, but you need to water them and nurture them over time for the best results.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

3. Financial literacy will help

Financial literacy. Sounds like a whole heap of fun, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, you need to have a level of understanding of financial literacy – given that you are reading this shows that you are well on your way. You don’t need to be an expert. But you do need to understand the basics including the cycle.

Some entrepreneurial types have built a whole career out of helping others with financial literacy. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki, became a cult hit and laid a solid foundation for people to conquer their financial demons.

The team at Calnan Flack is passionate about financial education and empowering individuals to make decisions to compound their wealth through sensible investments.

We want to help you build your family legacy.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

4. Do not trust others – Take responsibility

Tales of lottery winners getting scammed by family members, so-called business partners or financial advisors will never grow tired.

You need to take responsibility for your financial decisions. This means get educated and seek professional help so you can take charge and not only make, but own the decisions you make.

Really its just like when you seek medical help. Your doctor may recommend that you take some medication or do some exercises, but it is YOU who has to do it. And it is YOU who has to own the consequences of your actions.

You also need to build a team to help you, but you know the responsibility sits with you.

Rather than just trusting others, you create the plans, you set the goals, and you make decisions that allow you to leave a growing legacy.

5. Plan for windfall profits and establish some goals

When I discuss the idea of windfall profits with our audiences, you can see the room lift a little. Everyone seems to be filled with a sense of optimism.

This is a good thing.

You want to be optimistic about your future, but I want you to be grounded and understand how important goal setting is to provide clarity on the next part of your journey.

Studies have shown those lucky lottery winners who focused less on thoughts like ‘I will buy a Football Team, Ocean going yacht or tickets to be the first passenger in space etc.. ’ and instead focused on how they can help others do better in the long run.

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

Now for the fun part.

Write down all those things you would do with a windfall or your future profits. Let your dreams fly and note those things that will make you truly happy: experiences, family and a path to happiness.

You may find life-experiences trump material possessions by a considerable margin in terms of life happiness.

A Final Thought

“Birds are caught with seed, men with money.”

Money is just a tool. It can be used for good or evil. My father always told me “When it comes to money, people change”. Unfortunately, I have seen this over and over in my professional career. So, choose your financial team wisely.

To achieve financial independence requires financial literacy, the ability to control your cashflow and spending. To then purchase quality assets and then stay committed to your plan ensuring you achieve whatever you have defined…

Otherwise, good luck with your lotto numbers ‘cos your gonna need it!

Oh, and do remember, statistically speaking, if you do win lotto, you are better off not telling anyone.

So Mum’s the word.

Let’s get started

If you want to avoid the mistakes of not understanding the dangers of investing without an understanding of the Economic Cycle, then why not have a chat to us about how we can help?

You have nothing to lose except a few minutes of your time and everything to gain.

So… let’s get started.

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