Everybody has dreamed about winning the lottery at one time or another. While we can all think of amazing ways to spend a jackpot, the sad reality is that winning the lottery does not solve all your problems. Greedy relatives, out-of-control spending, and huge tax bills are just a handful of the problems that lottery winners face.
In spite of all the horror stories, some big winners have successfully navigated winning a jackpot and not losing all of the money. One of the big keys to success seems to be donating money to charitable causes and living simply. Here are five lotto winners that broke the curse of bad luck.
1. Louise White
This 81-year-old won the third-largest Powerball jackpot ever at $336 million. She chose to take a lump sum of $210 million rather than spread the winnings out over 30 years.
Her key to successfully navigating instant wealth was to hire lawyers to create a trust fund. By doing so, she created distance between her and the money. She was able to ensure that her family was taken care of while avoiding fortune seekers coming out of the woodwork.
2. Ed Nabors
Nabors won half of a $390 million Mega Millions jackpot. He too decided on a lump sum payment and walked away with about $80 million after taxes.
The Georgian truck driver had some very simple aims to accomplish with his large fortune. He bought a house for his daughter so she could move out of the mobile home she lived in. After that, he simply quit his job, bought a boat, and started fishing as much as he could.
3. Allen and Violet Large
This Canadian couple won $11.2 million in 2010. When the stress of how to spend the money became too high, they came up with a novel idea. They would give it all away.
Violet was battling cancer at the time, so two of the first beneficiaries of the winnings were hospitals where she underwent treatment. They gave freely to their family, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and even their local fire department. These two are a great example of the power of giving rather than receiving.
4. Les Robins
Robins won a record-high $111 million Powerball jackpot in 1993. The former junior high school teacher decided to use his money to build a camp for children to unplug from technology and enjoy the Florida wilderness.
The 226-acre compound has riding stables, a gym, a pool, and a mini-golf course. Robins says there were good and bad things about winning the lottery, but he has no regrets about building Camp Winnegator.
5. Colin and Christine Weir
This Scottish couple won big with a $250 million jackpot. They set up a charitable trust to fund organizations based in Scotland. The Weir Charitable Trust targets research, education, social enterprises, and many other focus areas to improve the lives of Scots.
The Weirs have also helped various children in need of medical attention. They seem to truly enjoy giving away their vast fortune to help other people live happily.