Many people think that when they become wealthy they will be set for life. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Even when you have millions of dollars, if you’re not careful, it can be gone before you realize it. Today, we’ll be sharing some of the real stories of those who gained vast wealth and lost it all.
Number 1 – Michael Carroll
Michael Caroll won £9,736,131 from the UK National Lottery in 2002 at the age of 19. That’s approximately $12,658,674. After his big win, he became famously known in the British tabloids where he was often referred to as the “Lotto Lout”. Caroll, initially, stated that he planned on being modest with his new fortune. He only wanted to buy a 3 bedroom house near a lake where he would spend his time fishing. That sentiment, however, quickly flew out the window. In the span of seven years, Caroll dwindled his fortune by making luxurious purchases including new homes, jewelry, drugs, cars, and parties. On top of that, he also gave £1 million each to his sister, aunt, and mother as well as another million to the Rangers Football Club. He became quite reckless and his criminal record grew quickly. He was jailed for 9 months for affray and by that time he had accumulated 42 previous offenses. At one point, he was given 240 hours of community service for drunkenly catapulting steel balls from his Mercedes van which broke 32 car and shop windows. Eventually, in 2010, he had completely run out of money and had to reapply to his old job as a garbageman. Despite everything, Caroll saw the seven year period as a fun time in his life and says he has no regrets with the way he spent his money.
Number 2 – Bernie Madoff
Bernie Madoff was, at one point, the chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange. He was a well known American financier who eventually ran the biggest ponzi scheme in history. Madoff owned a wealth management company in which he defrauded thousands of investors out of billions of dollars. Madoff admitted to carrying out the Ponzi scheme as early as 1990 and it wasn’t until 2009 that he was sentenced to 150 years in prison. In total, the amount missing from his client’s accounts was about $65 billion which included fabricated gains. It was Madoff’s own sons that alerted authorities of the scandal after their father confided in them that his asset management unit was “one big lie”. The sad part of this story is that Madoff had no reason to do this to earn money. His business was already lucrative without committing fraud..
Number 3 – Allen Iverson
Former professional basketball player Allen Iverson had a very lucrative career in the NBA, accumulating around 200 million dollars. Iverson, however, was far less successful in properly managing this money. Around 60% of NBA players go broke after they retire and Iverson’s story is perhaps the most surprising of them all. It is estimated that his monthly expenses included $10,000 on clothes, $10,000 on restaurants, $10,000 on groceries, $1,000 on dry cleaning, and $126,000 on other bills and mortgages. It didn’t help that Iverson would keep much of this money in garbage bags lying around his house, and it was reported that sometimes some of these garbage bags would go missing. At times, Iverson put himself in a position in which he was financially responsible for up to 50 people in his crew. There was one instance where he forgot where he parked his car so he took a taxi to the dealership and bought a new one. After retiring from the NBA in 2013, it took only two years for Iverson to blow through his entire vast fortune, eventually becoming so broke that his home was foreclosed and he owes creditors a considerable sum of money. Luckily, the former NBA player has an account which holds $32 million which he will get full access to when he turns 55.
Number 4 -Ulysses S. Grant
Even the most powerful man in the United States is not immune to financial difficulties. Former president Ulysses S. Grant was known for his lack of financial knowledge. After his presidency, Grant his wife spent 2 years traveling the world which led him to run out of money due to poor budgeting. He finished his world tour by borrowing money from his son. Grant dreamed of becoming a well known investor and befriended many wealthy individuals including J.P. Morgan. This led to one of the worst decisions he had ever made, investing in Grant & Ward co., a banking business owned by his son, Buck Grant, and a young man by the name of Ferdinand Ward. President Grant invested 150,000 dollars into this company, money that he borrowed from his family. Eventually, Ferdinand would bail from the business, taking the money that Grant had invested. This completely drained Grant financially, and he soon fell into a depression because of it, claiming he found it difficult to trust another human being ever again after what had happened. He planned on recovering his losses by publishing his memoirs and living off the revenue, however he would die before he could see even a penny.
Number 5 – Nicholas Cage
Nicholas Cage tops the list for, by far, the most bizarre means of draining one’s wallet. The famous actor has purchased 15 different residences, two European castles, and two deserted islands in the Bahamas. One of his properties is the $3.5 million house of serial killer Madame Delphine LaLaurie which is said to be one of the most haunted locations in America. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of Cage’s outlandish purchases. His mega yacht alone was worth $20 million. Some other things he spent his money on include a $207,000 pet octopus, a $412,000 dinosaur skull, the Shah of Iran’s Lamborghini for $450,000, a Ferrari Enzo for $1 million, the very first Superman comic for $150,000, and a 10 ft. tall pyramid tomb that Cage wishes to be buried in for $61,000. With all of these absorbent purchases, it’s no wonder the actor was able to eat through his $150 million fortune.
So, there you have it. It’s important to know that simply having wealth does not mean that it will always be there if you’re not smart with your money.