Lottery Winner Scoops a Fortune Then Takes His Own Life

Lottery Winner Scoops a Fortune Then Takes His Own Life

There is often a fine line between winning the lottery and finding happiness. For many, the big money jackpot is the road to financial freedom, long vacations and being able to treat family and friends to all the things they might not be able to afford otherwise. For some, the money brings sadness and sometimes even tragedy. Here is one such tale, read on to find out about the lottery winner who scoops a fortune then takes his own life.

Lucky Lottery Winner

Jirawat Pongphan became a very rich man, after he scooped just under one million dollars in a big lottery win. The prize of 42,000,000 Thai Bhat (which roughly equates to a million dollars) would have been enough to set the 42 year old up for life.

The day he found out he had won the large sum, he invited all his friends and family round to his house to celebrate, with drinks.

However, after falling asleep, he woke up to discover that the lottery tickets had gone missing, which meant he was unable to claim the huge sum of money he’d won.

Pongphan, who hailed from Chonburi in Eastern Thailand had gone ahead and bought seven tickets with winning numbers on them back in November 2017. He felt, on hearing about his win, that his life would be changed forever. It was, but not for the reasons he believed

The stress of waking up and finding the tickets missing, coupled with the belief that no-one would believe him if he reported it was too much for him to bear and he took his own life by suicide. Shooting himself in the head.

Pongphan had bought seven tickets with the same numbers on them in the hope of maximizing his winnings. When he discovered his winning tickets had disappeared Pongphan fell into a deep depression, his combination of stress and sadness leaving him unable to function or carry on with his daily job. On January 31 2018, Pongphan killed himself with a 9mm handgun. Thai police found Pongphan’s body in his bedroom with his suicide note beside him. Obviously devastated, the simple note read ‘I’m really sorry, please don’t bully my family, I did win the lottery prize.’

There is no more information about the winning tickets whereabouts, or indeed if they were stolen. No-one else has so far come forward to claim the winnings. There is no news as yet as to whether or not the police will investigate whether or not the tickets were actually stolen.

Whilst this story is an incredibly sad one, it isn’t the first time that a lottery winner has taken a big prize and then ended up losing their life to suicide. Here are a few other sad, cautionary tales.

Billie Bob Harrell Jr.

In June 1997, Billie Bob Harrell Jr. won the $31 million Texas Lottery jackpot. A huge amount of money to win 20 years ago!

Everything was well after the win, initially Mr Harrell made some new purchases, buying a ranch for himself, new cars for his wife, himself and all his children and he donated a huge amount of money to his local church.

If any congregation members needed assistance, he’d offer that too. But as quickly as the money had made his life better, events took a darker turn. Harrell realized that his life was starting to unravel in the most horrific way. He found that everyone around him had started to pull the touch on him, asking for more and more money and requests that he felt he could no turn down. His spending became ever more frenzied and out of control.

In the February of the following year, his marriage, which had already come under strain, broke up. Just 20 months after celebrating the huge win and taking the life changing sum of money Harrell took his own life.

Jack Whittaker

Jack Whittaker of West Virginia was a very wealthy businessman when he won what was at the time the largest jackpot ever by a single ticket. He scooped $314.9 million on December 25, 2002.

What happened next was unbelievable. His car was broken into twice, the first occasion saw $545,000 dollars get stolen. Later on a further $200,000 was taken in another robbery, though that was later recovered.

Another plot was revealed in which two club employees had planned to rob him after spiking his drinks with drugs. Next, his granddaughter’s boyfriend was found dead in Whittaker’s home from a drug overdose.

Whittaker’s granddaughter was then found dead at a male friend’s house after being reported missing. This death was also reported as being by overdose too.

Whittaker was then arrested for a DUI offense and then sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million worth in checks to fund losses he’d accrued from gambling.

Things continued to get worse as he was then sued by a woman who had previously sued him for not paying her money (he claimed thieves had stolen it all from him); and Whittaker’s daughter was found dead. “I wish I’d torn that ticket up,” Whittaker had said, speaking of the suicides of his daughter and her boyfriend.

Amanda Clayton

Single mom Amanda Clayton struck it very lucky when she won $1 million on the Michigan lotto in 2011. She was already on benefits and receiving welfare payments, but the money she won changed all that. She’d never been able to afford to take care of her children properly, but could now.

Greed, however, is a strange thing. Despite winning the money, she continued to claim welfare and when it was discovered what she’d done she was convicted and put on probation. Just a few short months later, she took her own life by drug overdose, seemingly unable to cope with that she’d done.

Gerald Muswagon

Gerald Muswagon, a big hearted Canadian struck won $10 million dollars in a jackpot in his hometown of Winnipeg.

Generous to a fault, Muswagon immediately rushed out after winning his money and bought a house, plus eight brand new big screen TVs for his buddies, wanting to treat them.

Unfortunately, he got into drugs and was arrested on several occasions for various crimes. Then, next his business failed. Then, to top it all off, he was arrested for sexual assault against a 19-year-old girl. Eventually, broke and depressed, he hung himself in his parent’s garage. A sad end to what should have been a happy tale in someone’s life.