David Lee Edwards, Powerball Winner, Dies Broke In Hospice

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David Lee Edwards: Cautionary tale
David Lee Edwards, the ex-felon from Kentucky who won the $27 million Powerball in 2001, has died broke, and in hospice, reports the Daily Mail.

As reported by New Times in 2007, Edwards had managed to blow his entire fortune within just five years. He and his wife Shawna went from living in a lavish Florida mansion decorated with medieval armor, to a Kentucky storage unit container filled with human feces.

See also: Powerfall: For David Lee Edwards, winning the lottery was a wild rocket ride

And now, just 12 years after striking it rich, Edwards has died penniless, and alone, at age 58.

Edwards was a convicted felon who had spent a third of his life behind bars when he walked into a Kentucky convenient store and bought $7 worth of lottery tickets.

When he won, he opted for the one-time payout, rather than the annual payments.

And within a year of being an instant millionaire, Edwards went on a spending spree. He threw down $12 million in that first year alone, buying himself and Shawna a 6,000-square-foot mansion in Palm Beach with a private tennis court for $1.6 million, dozens of expensive cars, and a LearJet with a personal pilot worth $600,000.

His Palm Beach neighbors complained that Edwards had so many cars in his driveway, that it looked like a car dealership.

He also spent on three losing racehorses, a limo business, and a fiber optics installation company. He also spent lavishly on medieval armor and swords to decorate his mansion -- most of it cheap knock offs of originals.

But Edwards also had a drug problem. He and Shawna contracted hepatitis from sharing tainted needles, while she had an Oxycontin addiction. The two had multiple run-ins with authorities.

Within five years, he was broke. And once the money dried up, Shawna left him and remarried.

Edwards tried to do right by his winnings. Shortly after falling into his fortune, he had vowed to spend it right, to make it last for Shawna and his daughter.

He even hired a financial adviser, James Gibbs. Gibbs invested some of the winnings in stocks and bonds. But Edwards sold them all off.

"If he followed my advice," Gibbs told New Times in 2007, "he'd be pulling in about $85,000 a month for the rest of his life."

On Tuesday, Edwards' daughter, Tiffani Lee Edwards, said that her father had died penniless and alone. And that he had left her nothing, not even a life insurance policy.

"There is NO MONEY anywhere!!!!" she wrote on Facebook.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.

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2 comments
TheRickster
TheRickster

A very sad story. From what I am reading, he had a very trouble life before winning the Lottery. The money only seem to have slowed and lengthen the inevitable. I hope his soul is in a better place.

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