The Powerball lottery has reached a staggering jackpot of $ 700 million ahead of Wednesday’s drawing.
The prize is the second-largest in history, behind only the $ 1.6 billion won by three entrants in January 2016.
While buying a ticket may seem tempting, the numbers suggest that it almost certainly isn’t worth it.
But even if it does pan out, winning the lottery will not solve all of life’s problems.
In fact, many people’s lives became notably worse after they hit the jackpot, as you can see from the following cautionary tales.
Pamela Engel, Mandi Woodruff, and Michael B. Kelley contributed to this report.
Lara and Roger Griffiths bought their dream home … and then life fell apart.
Before they won a $ 2.76 million lottery jackpot in 2005, Lara and Roger Griffiths of England hardly ever argued.
Then they won and bought a million-dollar barn-converted house and a Porsche, not to mention luxurious trips to Dubai, Monaco, and New York City.
Their fortune ended in 2010 when a freak fire gutted their house, which was underinsured, forcing them to shell out for repairs and seven months of temporary accommodations.
Shortly after, Roger drove away in the Porsche after Lara confronted him over emails suggesting that he was interested in another woman — the end of their 14-year marriage.
Bud Post lost $ 16.2 million within a nightmarish year — his own brother put out a hit on him.
William “Bud” Post won $ 16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but was $ 1 million in debt within a year.
“I wish it never happened,” Post said. “It was totally a nightmare.”
A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a third of his winnings and his brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him in the hopes he’d inherit a share of the winnings.
After sinking money into various family businesses, Post sank into debt and spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector.
“I was much happier when I was broke,” he said, according to The Washington Post.
Bud lived quietly on $ 450 a month and food stamps until his death in 2006.
Martyn and Kay Tott won a $ 5 million jackpot, but lost the ticket.
Martyn Tott, 33, and his 24-year-old wife from the UK missed out on a $ 5 million lottery fortune after losing their ticket.
A seven-week investigation by Camelot Group, the company that runs the UK’s national lottery, convinced officials their claim to the winning ticket was legitimate. But since there is a 30-day time limit on reporting lost tickets, the company was not required to pay up, and the jackpot became the largest unclaimed amount since the lottery began in 1994.
“Thinking you’re going to have all that money is really liberating. Having it taken away has the opposite effect,” Kay Tott told The Daily Mail. “It drains the life from you and puts a terrible strain on your marriage. It was the cruelest torture imaginable.”