You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

The Dark Side Of Winning The Lottery

Temptation Betrayal Jealousy

Source: “Curse of the lottery: Tragic stories of big jackpot winners,” by NICOLE BITETTE, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, January 12, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-02-02

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:10

Author: Illustration Exchange


The New York Daily News reports:

It's more likely you’ll get struck by lightning than win the Powerball — but if you do win, there is an even better chance that you'll go broke.

Nearly 70% of lottery winners end up broke within seven years. Even worse, several winners have died tragically or witnessed those close to them suffer.

Edward Ugel, author of the book “Money for Nothing: One Man's Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions,” told the Daily Beast of the thousands of lottery winners he's known, few were happy and only a small number lived happily ever after.

"You would be blown away to see how many winners wish they'd never won," Ugel said.

Here are a few of those stories:

Abraham Shakespeare: Murdered by a newfound friend

Shakespeare hit it big for $30 million in 2006, causing friends and family to hound him for money. He befriended Dorice (Dee Dee) Moore who tricked Shakespeare into believing she was trying to protect him from the greedy people around him.

Moore convinced the lottery winner to transfer his assets to her before he went missing in 2009. In 2012, she was sentenced to mandatory life without parole for his murder by a judge who called her “cold, calculating and cruel.”

David Lee Edwards: Lived in human feces before his death

Edwards — a former drug addict and felon — won a $27 million jackpot in 2001 while unemployed in South Florida.

He quickly blew through the money by purchasing a $1.6 million house in Palm Beach Gardens, three racehorses, a fiber optics company, a Lear Jet, a limo business, a $200,000 Lamborghini Diablo and a multitude of other luxuries.

Edwards and his wife returned to drug use and had numerous run-ins with police for possession of crack cocaine, pills and heroin.

He lost of all his money in just a few years and ended up living in a storage unit surrounded by human feces.

Jeffrey Dampier: Shot to death by his in-law

Jeffrey Dampier won $20 million in the Illinois lottery before his own family turned against him. The millionaire showered his family with cash and gifts, but that just wasn't enough for his sister-in-law, Victoria Jackson.

Dampier was kidnapped and shot in the back of his head by Jackson and her boyfriend around seven years after winning the jackpot. The couple was charged in his murder and are each serving a life sentence in prison.

Billie (Bob) Harrell Jr.: Shot himself in the head

In less than two years, Bob Harrell lost all of his $31 million winnings.

He donated his money to those in need and lended some of his cash to those close to him, but his generosity proved to work against him.

Being broke led to a split from his wife and the Texas man was found dead in his home with a gunshot wound to his head.

Before committing suicide, he said, “winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”


These tragic stories read like something out of a horror movie, rather than a list of people who have experienced a huge windfall. 

Have you ever thought that if you just had a little more your life would be more complete? If only you had just a little more money, or fame, or success?  It’s hard to see the downside to more success, but it’s there … hidden in the human heart.  Jealousy, greed, betrayal and even murder have been the experiences of many who thought all of their troubles were finally behind them.  

But the subtle dangers of too much success aren’t limited to how others might respond.  Human nature doesn’t typically do well with too much privilege or too much temptation.  Money combines these two forces into a potent cocktail.  Priorities become skewed while pride and ego overcome good judgment.

While worldly success promises to solve all of our worries, the reality is that it is just as likely to give us far worse things to worry about.  This is why the Bible offers us this solemn warning:

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Timothy 6:10). 

CEO Slashes Own Salary to Better Pay His Employees

Generosity Jealousy Reward

Source: “CEO Slashes $1 Million Salary To Give Lowest-Paid Workers A Raise” By Alexander C. Kaufman, posted The Huffington Post , 04/14/2015

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-27

Scripture: Luke 6:39 ; Matthew 20:1

Author: Illustration Exchange


Dan Price is the founder and CEO of Gravity Payments in Seattle. A week ago (4/7/15) he was making a million dollars a year. But not any more. Price isn’t the victim of corporate downsizing, or a lagging bottom line. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.

It all started when Price recently went walking with a friend. The conversation turned to his friend describing how difficult it was to keep up with rising rent costs and inflation on her modest $45,000 annual salary. Price got to thinking—that’s how much his average employee makes. Surely, they must be struggling, too.

In a radical move to better the lives of his 120 employees, Price declared that the new minimum wage for Gravity employees would be $70,000 per year. In order to help fund the new payroll, Price took a $930,000 pay cut.

“At a company where the average pay was $48,000 per year,” reports the HUFF POST, “the move … affected 70 workers, 30 of whom saw their salaries double.”

Price says that the move is not charity. Rather he sees it as a wise business investment, believing that better paid employees will be better motivated to serve the needs of both the company and its clients. “This is a capitalist solution to a social problem,” Price said. “I think it pays for itself, I really do.”


The response to Price’s move has largely been positive, but not entirely so. Some have taken issue with him, saying that the already higher paid employees had to “earn” their salaries, while the lower paid employees were simply “handed” the pay raise. It seems generosity is often not appreciated by those who do not directly benefit from it.

In the Parable of the Vineyard Workers, Jesus relates the story of a generous businessman—a vineyard owner—who faced similar criticism:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last" (Matthew 20:1-16).

Imagine resenting God's generosity to someone else. But that's exactly what happens in the heart of those who, like the Pharisees to whom Jesus words apply, are convinced that they have worked harder, have done more to deserve it. They see God's  graciousness toward the underserving with a jaundice eye, resisting and resenting it.

Additional Application: <

Strike Me Blind In One Eye

Rivalry Jealousy Humor

Source: Unknown

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2015-04-27

Scripture: Colossians 3:13

Author: Unknown


A story goes that there once were two shopkeepers. They were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival.
One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, "I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?" The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, "Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!" 


To choose to harm your enemy is to choose to harm yourself.

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13).

Crabby Christians

Jealousy Selfishness Ambition

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-05-09

Scripture: Philippians 2:3 ; Hebrews 3:13

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Porsche 911 Stopped In Its Tracks

Arrogance Anger Jealousy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-02-20

Scripture: Psalms 119:105 ; Proverbs :

Author: Illustration Exchange

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

A New Perspective

Perspective Teachability Patience

Contributed By: James Augustine | Date Posted: 2021-02-22

Scripture: Psalms 8:1 ; Psalms 8:4

Author: James Augustine

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Man In The Iron Mask

Affliction Spiritual Growth Perspective

Contributed By: Shane Waldron | Date Posted: 2020-12-15

Scripture: Isaiah 46:10 ; Isaiah 48:3

Author: Shane Waldron

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Bring A Better Face

Attitude Christlikeness Perspective

Contributed By: Kevin Truett | Date Posted: 2019-10-17

Scripture: Ephesians 4:31 ; Romans 13:14

Author: Kevin Truett

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Distracted And Delayed By Baggage

Greed Materialism Influence

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-05-11

Scripture: Luke 12:15 ; 1 Timothy 6:9

Author: Neal Pollard

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Fix Your Eyes On Jesus

Perspective Trials Jesus, Good Shepherd

Contributed By: Rob Tucker | Date Posted: 2018-01-08

Scripture: Hebrews 12:2

Author: Rob Tucker

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or