Sinister side to winning $150 million jackpot
Australia's biggest ever lottery prize is up for grabs this Thursday, with the division one jackpot reaching $150 million.
The jackpot has skyrocketed past the previous record of $110 million, with the division one Powerball draw not seeing a winner for nine weeks.
While becoming an instant multimillionaire sounds great, it can be more trouble than it's worth.
From foster care to millionaire
Callie Rogers was just 16 years old and living in foster care when she learned she had won $4.5 million the Lotto – something she claims was a curse.
"At that age, you don't have any concept of that amount of money or what to do with it," she told Today. "You have people begging for money, friends who weren't friends before wanting to be your friends. It was quite scary.
"A lot of people who were borrowing money never paid me back, and I think at the time I was so desperate for everybody to like me, I would literally help anybody out."
Rogers said she has grown from her mistakes and is now happily a mother of three.
"I bought my grandparents' house, which I still own and that's something for my children in the future," she said.
"Other than that, I've got all the life experience… which made me who I am today."
Denise Rossi won $1.9 million in the California lotto on December 8, 1996.
She filed for divorce from her husband of 25 years, Thomas Rossi, just 11 days after winning the prize. Although shocked, her husband accepted the divorce not knowing his wife had won the Lotto.
Two years later he discovered the reason his wife had left him and sued Denise for not disclosing her winnings in the divorce.
A LA family court judge ruled Ms Rossi had violated state asset disclosure laws and ordered her to pay every cent of lottery winnings to her ex-husband.
The 'Lotto Lout'
Michael Carroll was a teenager wearing electronic ankle monitor for drunk and disorderly behaviour when he won $A15.5 million in 2002.
The former British garbage man then went from an overnight multi-millionaire to blowing the money on booze, drugs, sex and countless holidays.
The self-proclaimed "King of the Chavs" said his wild party lasted 10 years, with the Lotto winner claiming to have smoked $3000 worth of crack cocaine in a single day at the height of his drug abuse.
He also admitted to spending endless amounts of his money on prostitutes.
"I've slept with over 4000 women," the now 35-year-old told The Mirror. "I once slept with more than 20 in one day."
Carrol said he has "no regrets" but claims money "brings out the worst in people".
Multi-millionaire to catching the bus
Sharon Tirabassi was a single mother living on welfare when the Canadian won $14.5 million in 2004.
She immediately spent big on a large house, fancy cars, designer clothes, lavish parties and exotic trips, while also giving handouts to her family and loans to her friends.
Fast forward almost a decade and Ms Tirabassi was back riding the bus, working part-time, and living in a rented house after blowing her fortune.
The Lotto winner did manage to save a small portion of winnings, with the funds locked away in trusts for her six children, who can claim the money with they are 26.
Winning the Lotto turns deadly
Maria Lou Devrell and her husband David won $5 million in the Lotto in 1999.
They enlisted Central Coast accountant Peter Joseph Kelly, who they had known for 20 years, to help manage their finances.
In 2011, Mr Kelly bashed Ms Devrell with a rubber mallet before suffocating her. Ms Devrell's bloodied corpse was found by her daughter several hours later.
The accountant, who had power of attorney for his victim at the time of the killing, told psychiatrists he murdered the woman because he "so furious" that the couple were being "wasteful" with their winnings.
Mr Kelly was sentenced to 18 years' jail and will be eligible for parole in 2024.
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