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Unlucky lottery winners who lost their money

Is winning the lottery really a lucky event? Not if you lose the money, say experts and those who fleetingly had it all.

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"Winning the lottery isn't always what it's cracked up to be," says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once but twice (1985, 1986) to the tune of $5.4 million. Today, the money is gone and Adams lives in a trailer.

"I won the American dream but I lost it, too. It was a very hard fall. It's called rock bottom," says Adams. "Everybody wanted my money. Everybody had their hand out. I never learned one simple word in the English language -- 'No.' I wish I had the chance to do it all over again. I'd be much smarter about it now," says Adams, who also lost money at the slot machines in Atlantic City.

"I was a big time gambler," admits Adams. "I didn't drop a million dollars, but it was a lot of money. I made mistakes, some I regret, some I don't. I'm human. I can't go back now so I just go forward, one step at a time."

Deeper in debt
Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lottery in 1993. Now she's deeply in debt to a company that lent her money using the winnings as collateral.

She borrowed $197,746.15, which she agreed to pay back with her yearly checks from the Virginia lottery through 2006. When the rules changed, allowing her to collect her winnings in a lump sum, she cashed out the remaining amount -- but stopped making payments on the loan.

She blamed the debt on the lengthy illness of her uninsured son-in-law, who needed $1 million for medical bills.

Mark Kidd, the Roanoke, Va., lawyer who represented the Singer Asset Finance Company who sued Mullins, confirms. He won a judgment for the company against Mullins for $154,147 last May, but they have yet to collect a nickel.

 
 
Next: These sad-but-true tales are not uncommon.
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