Home Lotto Powerball winner ‘cursed’ by £300million jackpot wished he’d ‘torn up ticket’

Powerball winner ‘cursed’ by £300million jackpot wished he’d ‘torn up ticket’

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Powerball winner ‘cursed’ by £300million jackpot wished he’d ‘torn up ticket’

A LOTTERY winner who scooped a whopping £300 million jackpot said he wished he had torn up the ticket.

Instead of getting good luck and fortune, Andrew ‘Jack’ Whittaker’s life was cursed with family deaths, divorce, and gambling addiction.

Lottery winner Jack Whittaker said he wished he'd torn his winning ticket

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Lottery winner Jack Whittaker said he wished he’d torn his winning ticketCredit: Reuters
The American businessman scooped almost £315 million in 2002

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The American businessman scooped almost £315 million in 2002Credit: AP:Associated Press
Jack (pictured centre) with his granddaughter Brandi (left) and ex-wife Jewell (right)

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Jack (pictured centre) with his granddaughter Brandi (left) and ex-wife Jewell (right)Credit: AP:Associated Press

His Powerball win was the largest jackpot ever won by a single winning ticket in the history of US lottery.

On Christmas Eve 2002, Jack purchased the winning Quick Pick ticket at a supermarket in Hurricane, West Virginia, where he had stopped for a deli breakfast sandwich and to get fuel for his car.

He was not a regular lottery player but bought £100 in tickets because the prize was so high.

He played the lottery only when it reached £100 million.

Unlike your usual winner, Jack was quite successful prior to hitting the jackpot.

The American businessman, who died in 2020 aged 72, built up a net worth of over £17 million thanks to his construction company.

While this would imply that he was in a position to manage the enormous money sum, this ended up not being the case.

Andrew instantly donated 10% of the winning to Christian charities and spent a further £14 million establishing the Jack Whittaker Foundation, which provided free food and clothing for low-income families in West Virginia.

In an interview with Fox News he confirmed he was “doing God’s work with all this money”.

“I am helping a lot of people and I plan to help a lot more,” he said.

Jack then drove back to the convenience store where he had purchased the ticket, before giving the clerk a £44,000 cheque, a £123,000 house and a brand new Jeep Cherokee.

The millionaire then bought himself a Lamborghini in which he’d drive around his neighbourhood throwing money out of the window.

Less than a year after winning the lottery, thieves broke into his flashy car and stole £545,000 cash that Jack carried around in a suitcase.

When asked why he would carry that much money around with him, the man responded, “Because I can.”

The Lamborghini was then broken into for a second time, resulting in the loss of a further £200,000 cash, but this was later recovered.

Jack’s downfall took a darker turn when he lost his 17-year-old granddaughter Brandi Bragg on December 20, 2004.

The girl was found dead on the property of a male friend after being reported missing earlier that month.

On October 11, 2005, at a hearing related to his January 2003 DUI, a visibly shaken Jack Whittaker lashed out at local law enforcement agencies for focusing on his troubles while failing to arrest anyone in relation to his granddaughter’s death.

According to West Virginia Metro News, he said: “Go after whoever killed my granddaughter with as much zealous as these butt holes are trying to convict me of something I didn’t do.”

The businessman was later sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing £1.5 million worth of checks to cover gambling losses.

After 42 years of marriage, Jack’s then wife Jewell Whittaker filed for divorce in 2008.

It turned into a lengthy, ugly dispute that dragged on until a West Virginia Supreme Court ruling in 2011 granted Jewell rights and access to some of Jack’s company holdings.

Four years later, on July 5, 2009, Ginger Whittaker Bragg, Jack’s 42-year-old daughter and the mother of Brandi Bragg, was also found dead – this time in Daniels, West Virginia.

After years of personal and financial loss, the distraught father and ex-husband told ABC News: “I pretty much lost everything I had and held dear in my life.

“Money has never meant anything to me. You have to have money to exist in this world, but money doesn’t rule the world. Money is not what makes people happy.”

He went on to say he wished he’d never purchased the lottery ticket in the first place.

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“My wife said she wished she’d torn the ticket up and I wish I had torn the ticket up too.

“I just don’t like what I’ve become.”

The 'cursed' millionaire lost his granddaughter, daughter and divorced his wife

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The ‘cursed’ millionaire lost his granddaughter, daughter and divorced his wifeCredit: Getty
Brandi Bragg was found dead on December 20, 2004

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Brandi Bragg was found dead on December 20, 2004Credit: Getty
Her body was found on the property of a male friend

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Her body was found on the property of a male friendCredit: AP:Associated Press
The 17-year-old was reported missing on December 9, 2004

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The 17-year-old was reported missing on December 9, 2004Credit: AP:Associated Press

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