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David Lee Edwards blew $27 million and died broke 12 years after hitting the lottery. According to a report by the Daily Mail, Edwards, 58, died alone in a hospice on Nov. 30.

In 2001, Edwards hit the lottery during a time when he was unemployed while living in South Florida. But soon as he got his first check, Edwards went on an insane spending spree.

He bought a $1.6 million house in Palm Beach Gardens; paid $1.9 million for a Lear Jet; bought another home for $600,000; bought three losing race horses; invested $4.5 million in a fiber optics company and limo business; he paid his ex-wife $500,000 for custody of his teenage daughter; bought a $200,000 Lamborghini Diablo and a multitude of other cars; bought a $35,000 Hummer golf cart for his daughter; paid for a $159,000 ring; and paid $30,000 for a plasma screen TV.

In the first three months of winning the lottery, Edwards spent $3 million. At the end of his first year as a lottery winner, he had spent $12 million. By 2006, he had spent nearly all of his money.

Edwards, a felon before winning the lottery, continued to struggle with drug addiction after losing  all of his money. He lost both of his homes and was forced to live in a storage unit that was infested with human feces.

Edwards’ wife drove him to his home state of Kentucky where he lived in a hospice until he passed away.

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A.R. Shaw

Documenting a culture one story at a time...

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