Striking it rich could be a nightmare for some - WNEM TV 5

Striking it rich could be a nightmare for some

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You pay your money, you take your chances and the worst that can happen? Maybe, you might win big.

The lifelong dream of getting rich could be a nightmare for those who suddenly strike it rich.

“The historical assumption is, if you win the lottery, you're set. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of lottery winners, don't have that story,” Attorney Andrew Stoltmann said.

Without proper perspective and expert counsel, Stoltmann said a winning ticket in your pocket could be a target on your back.

“There are literally across the world, who put these people on a list, to harass and harangue, and try to sell bad investments, and also just flat out try to take their money,” Stoltmann said.

A 2015 study found that 44 percent of lottery winners blow those winnings within five years, ending up broke.

There's also the so-called “Lotto Curse.”

Jack Whittaker's $315 million dollar Powerball jackpot in 2002 bought the West Virginia businessman heartache and pain, and two arrests.

Abraham Shakespeare of Florida was murdered after winning $30 million and Powerball winner Marie Holmes keeps making North Carolina headlines while spending her millions and bailing her boyfriend out of jail.

Winning the dream of a lifetime and living the dream aren't necessarily the same.

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