Big winners share lessons, risks of Powerball win

Nov 28, 2012

Visions of lifelong riches are surely dancing in the heads of those rushing to buy lottery tickets for Wednesday night's $500 million Powerball jackpot.

Past winners of mega-lottery drawings and financial planners have some more sound advice: stick to a budget, invest wisely, learn to say no and be prepared to lose friends while riding an emotional roller-coaster.

Tales of big lottery winners who wind up in financial ruin or other desperate straits are increasingly common.

A two-time New Jersey lottery winner squandered her $5.4 million fortune. And a West Virginia man who won $315 million a decade ago on Christmas later said the windfall was to blame for his granddaughter's fatal drug overdose and his divorce.