Winning the Powerball: Fantasy or Nightmare?
Jack Whittaker, of West Virginia, won the $314.9 million Powerball, but is now questioning whether it was even worth it.
His wife left him and his granddaughter recently died of a drug addiction. His daughter is currently battling cancer and he is stuck with no friends.
"Every friend that I've had, practically, has wanted to borrow money or something and of course, once they borrow money from you, you can't be friends anymore," said Whittaker. http://abcnews.go.com/US/WireStory?id=3598409&page=1
People would show up at the C&L Super Serve convenience store where he frequently visited and where he bought the winning ticket in hopes he would be willing to give them money. Everyone always had some sort of sob story to get part of his winnings said Brenda, who sold Whittaker the winning ticket. Soon he stopped going to the convenience store because people kept bombarding him with plea's of money.
Whittaker was already a self-made millionaire even before his big jackpot win in December 2002. He started working for his father at the age of 10, and dropped out of school by the age of 14 to start working full time.
Ever since his big win, he's been involved in 460 legal actions and recently settled a lawsuit that alleged his bank failed to catch counterfeit checks of $50,000 from his accounts.
Whittaker has been donating most of his money to his "Jack Whittaker Foundation" which has spent $23 million on building two churches. His family also donates clothing, food and money for college scholarships to local students.
Whittaker was asked if he feels like a role model after the win he said, "I want to be a good example. I want to make people proud of what happens with this winning. I want to promote goodwill and help people." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36338-2005Jan25.html