The lottery winner takes home a whopping $3.1million prize – but after just two years he was penniless and has been charged with murder

JUST two years after winning his lucky ticket, a lottery winner is broke and facing life in prison for murder.

When he took home $3.1 million in 1989, Willie Hurt was a dedicated family man with a wife and three children.

Two years after winning $3.1 million in the Michigan lottery, Willie Hurt was broke, addicted to crack cocaine, and facing murder charges


Two years after winning $3.1 million in the Michigan lottery, Willie Hurt was broke, addicted to crack cocaine, and facing murder chargesCredit: Alamy

But by 1991, the Lansing, Michigan resident was penniless and in the middle of divorce proceedings after crack cocaine addiction took over his life, according to the Associated Press.

Hurt’s situation worsened in September of that year when Wendy Elizabeth Kimmey, 30, was fatally shot in the head.

She died in a room in a boarding house Hurt had been renting for three weeks.

Witnesses said the duo had been there for two days on drugs and alcohol.

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Hurt became furious after they couldn’t find any more crack cocaine, prosecutors said.

He turned himself in and reportedly confessed to the crime before a judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation.

“He doesn’t remember making a confession or signing what I was told,” Hurt’s attorney, Malik Hodari, told the AP.

“It’s a very sad case, but we don’t know all the facts.”

At the time, Hurt’s winnings came in 20 annual installments of about $156,000.

Lotto officials said a conviction would not have prevented him from receiving the money.

It’s not clear what ultimately happened to Hurt, but he’s not the only lottery winner to end up losing it all.

California resident Denise Rossi lost her entire $1.3 million lottery win to her ex-husband in 1998.

She had not disclosed the money in her divorce proceedings two years earlier.

Less than two weeks after Denise brought home the jackpot, she suddenly filed for the breakup.

“She wanted me to move out of the house real quick,” said her ex-husband Thomas Rossi.

“It wasn’t her way to behave like that.”

A judge eventually awarded Thomas $48,000 in annual payments at Denise’s expense.


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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