The Challenges Of Jack Whittaker

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Believe it or not, your biggest enemy if you suddenly win the lottery or inherit a lot of money is you. But if you can't manage it on your own, don't worry. There are any number of willing participants ready to help you start your vicious downward spiral for you. Mind you, many of these will be "friends," "friendly neighbours," or "family." Often, they won't even have evil intentions. But, that makes little difference in the end.
Jack Whittaker, a Johnny Cash attired, West Virginia native, is the poster boy for the dangers of a lump sum award. In 2002 Mr. Whittaker (55 years old at the time) won what was at the time, the largest single award jackpot in U.S. history. $315 million. At the time, he planned to live as if nothing had changed, or
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Whittaker became the subject of a number of personal challenges, escalating into personal tragedies, complicated by a number of legal issues.
Whittaker wasn't a typical lottery winner either. His net worth at the time of his winnings was in excess of $15 million, owing to his ownership of a successful contracting firm in West Virginia. His claim to want to live "as if nothing had changed" actually seemed possible. He should have been well equipped for wealth. He was already quite wealthy, after all. By all accounts he was somewhat modest, low profile, generous and good natured. He should have been able to coast off into the sunset on a yacht. Yeah. Not exactly.
Whittaker quickly became the subject of a number of financial stalkers, who would wait at his regular breakfast spot to give him suggestions for how to spend his money. They were mostly unemployed. No, an interview tomorrow morning wasn't good enough. They needed cash NOW. Perhaps they had a sure-fire business plan. Their daughter had cancer. A niece needed dialysis. Needless to say, Whittaker stopped going to his breakfast spot. Eventually, they began ringing his doorbell. Sometimes in the early morning. Before long he was paying off-duty deputies to protect his family. He was accused of being heartless, cold and

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