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How Powerball winner who won $315 million endures family death, addiction and divorce and wishes he ‘tears the ticket’

It’s the kind of big money most of us can only dream of.

But for one Powerball winner, winning the record-breaking jackpot has entailed a series of heartbreaking family deaths, addictions and divorces.

Andrew'Jack' Whittaker Jr - who won an incredible $315 million on Christmas Eve 2002

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Andrew ‘Jack’ Whittaker Jr – who won an incredible $315 million on Christmas Eve 2002
Brandi Bragg was found dead in 2004

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Brandi Bragg was found dead in 2004

In fact, Andrew ‘Jack’ Whittaker Jr – who won a staggering $315 million on Christmas Eve 2002 – once said he wished he had ripped the ticket.

Whittaker, who passed away aged 72 in 2020, became an instant celebrity when he claimed the then-largest US lottery jackpot was hit by a single ticket.

He opted for a one-time payment of $113.4 million after taxes, and flew to New York with his family on a private jet to appear on the network’s morning TV shows.

PERSONAL TEST

But in the years that followed, he suffered devastating personal tragedies.

Whittaker, who was wearing a cowboy hat, separated from his wife.

A friend of his drug addict niece was later found dead at his home in 2004.

Three months later, his 17-year-old granddaughter also died.

Brandi Bragg was found dead in a lorry, hidden by a boyfriend, who panicked when he found her dead, the Associated Press reported.

An autopsy failed to determine a cause.

Daughter’s death

Whittaker’s daughter, Ginger Whittaker Bragg, later passed away in 2009 at the age of 42 after a long battle with cancer.

And in 2016, he lost a home in Virginia to a fire.

He also struggled with drinking, gambling and his home and car were repeatedly broken into.

And at a strip club, thieves broke into his Lincoln Navigator and stole a briefcase containing $245,000 and three cashier checks for $100,000.

That time, at least, he caught a break-in – the briefcase was later found, with the money still inside.

DUI ARRESTS

Whittaker – who became a self-made millionaire before winning Powerball – has twice been accused of driving while under the influence and has been sued repeatedly, once by three female casino employees who accuse him of assaulting him. .

“I will only be remembered as a lunatic who won the lottery,” Whittaker said.

“I’m not proud of that. I want to be remembered as someone who helped so many people.”

Andrew Jackson "Jack'' Whittaker Jr., Jewell's wife, right, and their niece Brandi Bragg

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Andrew Jackson “Jack ” Whittaker Jr., wife Jewell, right, and their niece Brandi Bragg
Whittaker, a 55-year-old bidder, won the Christmas Day $314.9 million jackpot

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Whittaker, a 55-year-old bidder, won the Christmas Day $314.9 million jackpot

https://www.the-sun.com/news/4429826/powerball-winner-tragedy-deaths-addiction-divorce/ How Powerball winner who won $315 million endures family death, addiction and divorce and wishes he ‘tears the ticket’

DevanCole

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