For many people, winning the lottery is about as lucky as it gets. However, for most jackpot winners, that’s where the luck stops. In fact, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education, an estimated 70 percent of people who win the lottery or find themselves with a sudden surge in wealth lose all of their money within a handful of years.
Still, there is that 30 percent who have managed to make that luck work for in their favor — the ones we like to call the smart ones.
Here are 10 of the smartest lottery winners.
10. Yancy Hicks
Working at McDonald’s may not be your dream job, but what about owning your own franchise? That’s just what Yancy Hicks did with the $1 million earnings he received back in 2008 from the Illinois State Lottery.
But, it wasn’t flipping burgers and salting french fries that he was interested in. This lottery winner decided that making custom sandwiches was more his taste, so he bought a Subway franchise that he continues to own.
Other smart investments that Hicks made with his winnings included purchasing his first home and paying for his daughter’s college education.
9. Jason Fry
Some lottery winners don’t start out so money smart, which is what happened to Jason Fry who won a $13 million share of a $47 million jackpot back in 2007. He took his winnings and bought a new Cadillac Escalade, followed by taking his friends in a limousine bus to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, where he shelled out some dough to purchase a section of tickets on the 50-yard line to watch the University of Florida play against the University of Michigan in football.
Not long after, however, Fry decided to make his money work for him by investing in a golf range, that now generates $300,000 annually.
But it isn’t just the golf industry that this savvy winner has invested in. Fry took more of his earnings to invest with other business owners in a series of Battery Plus franchises that are generating $1 million of annual sales.
8. Emma Wildin
For years, UK mother, Emma Wildin was what you would call a casual lottery ticket buyer. She would buy tickets at her local store, and would win $100 here and there. But in 2013, her luck
changed, when she picked the numbers that won her £1million.
Thankfully, Wilden and her financial advisor husband decided to invest her winnings in rental properties.
“We’ve bought two rental properties and that provide me with income,” Wilden told Glouchester Live in an interview. She is now able to be a stay-at-home mother to her two young children.
7. Roy Gibney
In 1998, a proud sheet metal worker, Roy Gibney won a £7,500,000 jackpot, and immediately began to spend lavishly. He purchased 14 homes that he fitted with the nicest things including
one with a swimming pool that he featured the winning numbers on the bottom for all to see.
For 14 years, the lottery winner gave up work, living solely on his earnings, but he eventually got bored.
“When I won I enjoyed all the luxuries you would expect … but I got bored,” Gibney told The Guardian. So, he went back to what he loved, and started his own sheet metal business that not only generates revenue, but makes him happy.
6. Mark Brudenell
In 1997, 40-year-old tanker driver, Mark Brundell won a nearly £1 million jackpot, taking home £916,915. The money, however, Brundell said, didn’t change his life all that
“It hasn’t changed my life at all – apart from not having to pay a mortgage,” Brundell told Gazzette Live.
Brundell quit his job, and along with his wife Cheryl and their two sons, moved from the family’s three-bedroomed apartment to a four-bedroomed single family home in Ingleby Barwick.
After a few years of living the retired life, Brundell got bored. He now owns a doors, windows and building business along with his friend Allan Ryder.
5. Brad Duke
For Brad Duke, his 2005 $85 million jackpot win wasn’t enough — he wanted to turn it into $1 billion.
Right away, he began investing his money in conservative investments including his two companies, a health-club consulting business called Synergy Fitness Group, and the Duke
Speed Academy that helps kids be better athletes.
He also sponsors mountain biking competitions around the country, and is generous in his givings to many charitable endeavors.
“I’ve always had a drive for success,” he told Kiplinger.com in an interview. “I want to be able to provide future generations of my extended family with three things: an education, a job in one of my companies (if they need one) and enough financial backing to be able to pursue their dreams.”
As far as his goal of $1 billion, he says that he is still working on it.
4. Sue Herdman
Winning the lottery may be something that will happen to you “when pigs fly.” Well, a $1.2 million win not only happened for Sue Herdman, but pigs started flying her way by way of a pig
farm she purchased.
Herdman, who was a single mother of one, was working as a hairdresser, barely making ends meet when she saw the winning numbers come up. Her first thought was that she would never have to worry about money again, and even told the Daily Mail in the UK that she had thoughts of spending it lavishly.
However, she thought about the long distance relationship she had with a man who worked at his father’s pig farm, and she decided to invest in love. Little did she know, that is wasn’t just a
man she would fall in love with, but thousands of piglets who she cares for each day.
3. Peter Lavery
In the spring of 1996, former bus driver, Peter Lavery won £10,248,233 in the National Lottery, and has since tripled his winnings.
Things didn’t start out so smooth for the jackpot winner, however. According to The Telegraph, Lavery, who was a regular at the local pub, drinking a steady stream of alcohol five days a
week, said that for the first 6 months, things were pretty bleak.
“I didn’t work for six months and I had worked all my life beforehand,’ he told The Telegraph. “‘I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was drinking five days a week. I was going to kill myself .. Then a doctor, who is a friend, said to me, ‘You’d better get busy.’”
And he did.
Lavery bought 33 properties that he now rents out across Northern Ireland, various housing sites in development, as well as a whiskey distillery that is backed by the Northern Ireland
executive by way £35 million investment.
But it isn’t just his individual earnings that makes him so smart, but it is his impact on his local economy by creating jobs for 80 people that we think makes him a economical genius.
2. James Harvey
Sometimes winning the lottery is less of a lucky draw, and more of a calculated win. That’s what MIT Senior, James Harvey did when he, and a group of colleagues won an estimated $3.5 million in collective earnings over several years.
Harvey, who was conducting an independent study while at MIT, figured out a loophole in the Cash Windfall. While this particular lottery would not roll over its jackpot, it would break down the winnings into smaller increments during what it called roll down prizes. In his research, Harvey found that during Windfall’s roll down, each lottery ticket was worth more than it’s original cost.
He attracted investors, who collectively purchased 600,000 tickets over the span of seven years — an investment that paid off big time.
1. Joan Ginther
Winning the lottery once is pretty spectacular. Winning it again is unbelievable. Taking home the loot a third time is outrageous. But beating the odds four times? Well, that’s just mind blowing.
That’s what Joan Ginther did in four lotteries in her home state of Texas.
It wasn’t just a measly payout that some lucky winners will duplicate, but huge payouts. Ginther won $5.4 million in 1993, a decade later, took home $2 million, followed by a $3 million win two years later, then ending her winning streak in 2008, when she took home the $10 jackpot.
What makes Ginther’s win’s so smart? Well, this “lucky” woman just so happened to be a former math professor with a PhD from Stanford, who many thing used her knowledge of math statistics to make the odds work in her favor — which they most definitely did.
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