Lottery Winners that are SMART with their Winnings

Becoming a millionaire does not happen overnight unless you have played the lottery or are involved in a funny business. But having that ‘infinite’ source of money can mess up winners and make regrettable decisions, costing them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn their lives around.

However, not everyone is bound to squander all of their prizes. While some lottery winners used the cash to sustain a lavish lifestyle, few have been smart at handling their finances and investing their winnings rather than gambling it all on online casinos like OkBet. As a result, it helped them and other people around them.

Here are nine lottery winners that capitalized on their luck.

Brad Duke

Back in 2005, a fitness instructor managed to hit a $74 million jackpot in the lottery. Instead of using the prize to live a lush life, Brad Duke, the recipient of the millions, dreamt of growing it to $1 billion in 15 years.

Rather than going on a shopping spree, or squandering it on online casino slots, he hired lawyers and financial advisers to help him make meaningful financial decisions. He made the right investments, and although some wasted a portion of his millions, Duke increased his finances to $100 million.

Moreover, now that he has enough to help himself and others, he established the Duke Foundation, which helped raise a million dollars to support Idaho residents.

Peter Lavery

In 1996, a former bus driver in Ireland won £10.2 million at the UK National Lottery. Peter Lavery did not want to return to driving a bus and, instead, put his money somewhere useful.

Lavery invested in whiskey. He partnered with the Cooley Whiskey Distillery to produce Danny Boy Blended Irish Whiskey, one of the most well-known liquor brands in the United Kingdom.

The instant millionaire also entered the real estate industry, buying at least 30 properties and accumulating triple his lottery win. With near-limitless money, Lavery takes time to support the community by supporting many charities.

Les Robins

This next winner combined his passion for children and his profession. After winning a whopping $111 million in 1993 and splitting it with his ex-fiancee, Les Robins, a teacher, invested the remainder of his money into building Camp Winnegator.

Camp Winnegator is an open camp for children, filled with activities and amenities for children. At the same time, Robins continued his teaching career and kept his camp operating.

Deana Simpson

A simple hairdresser who is broke, Deana Simpson’s chance to be a millionaire was not wasted by being smart with the £5.43 million she won. She invested her money into properties that helped her open a property business.

A loving sister to her late handicapped brother, Simpson now dedicates most of her time to training disability assistance dogs. 

Neal Wanless

It is rare for a cowboy to test their luck in lotteries. But Neal Wanless was perhaps among the few luckiest cowboys.

Wanless won a massive $232 million! But instead of buying useless things or flexing his newfound wealth, he bought a ranch where he continued tending to animals.

In 2020, Wanless moved out of his ranch after becoming a family man. He currently lives in British Columbia with his wife. He is now selling his property, a 14,720 acre of land.

Jason Fry

Jason Fry, a hard-working worker, had three jobs before becoming a millionaire. When he hit the $47 million lottery prize, Fry went on a shopping spree.

However, realization dawned upon him, and instead of going broke, he invested his remaining money in a golf driving range and Batteries Plus franchises, which helped him retain his millionaire status.

Robert Salo

What if a teenager ended up with millions of money? Will they buy expensive cars? Jewelry perhaps? Or maybe try their luck at one of the e-bingo sites? 

That would be the most common scenario, but not with Robert Salo. The young man had dreams.

Instead of buying lavish things, Salo dedicated his prize to acquiring a degree in electrical engineering.

Yancy Hicks

A former Mcdonald’s crew, Yancy dreamt of becoming the boss of his own business. But one thing prevents him from reaching the dream—money.

But it all changed when he won the Illinois State Lottery, bringing home $1 million. With enough money to support his dream, Yancy opened his subway branch and capitalized on the opportunity brought to him by a single lottery ticket.

Ianthe Fullagar

Another teenager blessed to have more money than she could ever imagine, Ianthe Fullagar, grabbed the opportunity right after it knocked on her door.

Wanting to be a lawyer, the former waitress dedicated the £7 million she won to pay for her law school studies. But of course, since she was young then, she went to spend something for herself before going serious with her finances.

Fullagar went to Egypt for a year. She also bought her parents a house and forced them to retire early.

Because she was responsible with her millions, she is now believed to have a net worth of £10 million.


Yes, most people would change their lifestyle once they have the money. It would usually not end well due to their millionaire status only being “temporary.”

But the people mentioned above showed they do not want the rags-to-riches, riches-to-rags narrative. They were responsible enough that they put the money to good use. 

That being said, taking risks at lotteries or in any gambling houses like OKBET is nice, as long as the prizes are used to fuel something meaningful and not just their gaming habit.

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