debt

8 big lottery winners whose money and luck ran out

A real-life 'Beverly Hillbillies' story
A real-life 'Beverly Hillbillies' story | William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

A real-life 'Beverly Hillbillies' story

William "Bud" Post III worked at carnivals and spent time in jail. He seemed aimless with no hopes of ever making enough money to live well.

Then, while in his 40s with just a few dollars to his name, he won more than $16 million in the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Post would be $500,000 in debt within just three months of his 1988 win, in part because he bought a twin-engine airplane (though he had no pilot's license).

It got worse. A brother was convicted of planning his murder. His annual after-tax prize payments of $500,000 were spent with little thought of the future, and he filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990s. He died of respiratory failure in 2006, at age 66.

His bankruptcy lawyer, John Lacher, said it was like a real-life "Beverly Hillbillies" story.

"He did everything you would expect of a guy who became a millionaire overnight," Lacher told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "While you might buy one laptop, Bud would see the same laptop and buy 30."

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