Six times African Americans won the lottery and their stories

win lottery should always be a joyful occasion. However, for many African-American winners, it did more harm than good – some even lost their lives because of the lottery.

In the spirit of the $2.04 billion Powerball grand prize just won in California, Shade room Take an in-depth look at six black lottery jackpot winners, the story of their unexpected wealth, and the drama that came with it.

And about 70 percent of all lottery winners, white or black, lose it all within five years, regardless of their fortunes, the statistics show.

It is important to note that recently Shade room‘S report found that the lottery was systematically racist in the way it actively marketed itself in low-income and Black communities.

Also, Shade room does not promote or endorse lotteries and urges anyone with a gambling problem to call 1-800-522-4700/view National Council on Gamblingwhere state-by-state help can be found.

1. Abraham Shakespeare

The tragic story of Abraham Shakespeare started quite well, after he discovered he won $ 31 million in the state of Florida in 2006.

He opted for a lump sum payment, meaning he’d get less money than if he’d paid in installments, and he ended up getting $17 million after taxes. Still not too shabby. The play begins almost immediately for Mr Shakespeare, whom friends and family describe as lovable, generous and relatable, perhaps a mistake.

Shortly after winning, a colleague accused him of stealing the winning ticket, and he was taken to court. In the end, the judge ruled in Shakespeares’ favor and allowed him to keep his lottery winnings.

Despite the newfound wealth, or perhaps because of it, the Shakespeares’ lives continued to spiral out of control.

He eventually befriends a white woman named Dorice Donegan, “Dee Dee” Moore, who promises to help him sort through his money so he doesn’t spend it all overnight.

But instead of helping him, she secretly drained his money and drained his wealth.

In 2009, his family declared him missing, and in January 2010, his body was found buried under a concrete slab in the backyard of an acquaintance’s house. Moore appeared in court in Tampa in 2012 for shooting a lottery winner, Abraham Shakespeare, Sevenadoingd was eventually found guilty.

She is currently serving a life sentence.

2. Cynthia Stafford

Stafford was struggling to raise five children and take care of her elderly father when she won a whopping $129 million in the California lottery in 2007, according to the Lottery Analyst.

Before winning, she described herself as an ordinary lottery player. After taxes, she took home a payout of $67 million, according to reports at the time. The website reports that Stafford was generous – presumably in error – and actually split the money equally with her father and brother.

Of course, she squandered a bit, like any lottery winner. She purchased a 4,000-square-foot home in the upscale Pacific Palisades. Next, she got a new car, a used Mercedes-Benz R-class.

Stafford also hired a personal trainer and took a trip to Paris with some of her winnings before starting to give back and donate to charities she has admired for many years. five.

Since then, she has become an entrepreneur and philanthropist in the Los Angeles area. Stafford is the CEO of her own production company, Queen Nefertiti Productions, and is actively involved with the Geffen Playhouse – a non-profit performing arts theater in LA.

She admits she still plays the lottery to this day.

Photo: Jonathan Vargas, 19, of Gaston, South Carolina (Photo by Erik Campos/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

3. Jonathan Vargas

In 2008, 19-year-old Jonathan Vargas of Gaston, South Carolina, won the $35 million Powerball Jackpot. Vargas, the first winner from South Carolina, chose most of his numbers based on the ages or birth dates of his family members.

He chose to take home a total of about $17.3 million after taxes. With this money, he and several partners created “Wrestlicious,” an all-female wrestling promotion. He even promised to buy his mother a house with the winnings.

Of the many young lottery winners that have popped up over the years, only a few seem to have a sound plan for the fortunes they are lucky to win.

The teenager then seemed incredibly mature in his post-victory plans. However, he ended up losing everything after a series of bad decisions and spending large sums of money on expensive clothes and jewelry.

After buying a mansion, Jonathan invested his money in countless schemes that never seemed to work out. The last straw for Jonathan’s wealth came from a TV show that Jonathan wanted to launch.

Lottery Analyst Reports describe that he has remained largely unnoticed in recent years.

4. Doris Murray

Doris Murray was an adorable 42-year-old mother of four living in South Carolina when she was blessed with a winning $5 million lottery ticket.

Murray’s story is another tragic and cautionary tale: in 2008, her ex-boyfriend, Derrick Lorenzo Stanley, of East Dublin, stabbed her to death before she could enjoy her winnings. .

Authorities said Murray’s family called police after they saw Derrick Stanley, 51, leaving the home with blood stains on his face. Stanley was arrested after leading the police in a car chase.

At the time of the case, WLTX reported that an investigator suggested the two may have argued after she told him she wanted to cut their relationship and become friends.

The Laurens County Sheriff said Murray “lives up to a meager standard” even though she won the award after winning the award on her birthday in April 2007.

According to the source, she chose to receive an annual payment of $172,000 over 20 years to set up a trust fund for her grandchildren.

The lottery said the money would continue to be paid to anyone in accordance with Murray’s will.

Stanley was eventually charged over Murray’s death.

Solomon Jackson Jr. of Columbia, South Carolina, was the winner of the $259.9 million Powerball jackpot on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. (Photo by Gerry Melendez/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

5. Solomon Jackson Jr.

In 2009, retired South Carolina state employee, Solomon Jackson Jr. became the winner of the $259.9 million Powerball jackpot,

The Columbia native spent just two dollars on the lottery and was smiling during a news conference when he won the $260 million Powerball jackpot.

Solomon Jackson Jr.

At the time, South Carolina Education Lottery officials said the Powerball jackpot was the largest jackpot ever won with a ticket purchased in the fifth-highest unemployment state in the nation.

Jackson has shared few details about himself or his money-making plans but revealed that he is married and has ten siblings. However, he did not disclose how many children he has or his age.

He also did not disclose whether he will receive his winnings in a lump sum of $129 million or an annual payment for 30 years, which would give him an additional $88 million after taxes. .

He said he served as assistant supervisor with the state Department of Revenue until his early retirement in 2000 and is using his spare time to go back to school to earn a degree from the College of Engineering. Midlands.

6. Bryon Forest

Perhaps the happiest story belongs to former mechanic Bryon Woods and his wife. The couple won the Texas Lottery $49 million in July 2003.

He made his decision based on the annuity, which paid him $2.5 million in advance, and the payout was only about $2 million per year for the next 24 years.

Woods took his winnings and opened a historic motel in Texas called the Tee Pee Lodge. He bought the property for $60,000 and made $1.6 million for the renovation.

At first, the couple didn’t even know they had won the jackpot until a family member called to let them know the winning ticket had been purchased at the store where they bought the ticket. Bryon then checked the numbers on his calculator.

“I started screaming, ‘We’re millionaires! We’re millionaires!’” he said.

Bryon, then 38, quit her job as a diesel mechanic and Barbara, 46, did the same with the J&K’s Corner store where she worked.

At the time, they told the press that they wanted to offer college scholarships to local students.


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