While there are many lottery winners who blow through their windfalls in a heartbeat, there are those who boldly use their winnings wisely. These four winners have found success in business after their wins.
19-year-old Jay Vargas, won a $17 million Powerball jackpot in 2008 and founded Wrestlicious, a production and live events company that features scantily-clad female wrestlers in comedy sketches.
Then MIT student named James Harvey not only won, he manipulated a Massachusetts State Lottery game called Cash WinFall to earn $3.5 million for his company Random Strategies Investments. The game has since shut down, but Harvey and lottery partner Yuran Lu have turned their attention to opening a startup for making and managing mailing lists, called ZeroMailer.
Cynthia Stafford of LA, who won a $112 milllion Mega Millions jackpot on Mother’s Day 2007 has started Queen Nefertiti Productions LLC, and plans to make three or four movies per year.
Gold’s Gym employee Brad Duke wants to grow the $84 million he won from the Idaho State Lottery in 2005 to $1 billion in 15 years. He has investments in a health club consulting business, real estate, oil & gas and bonds. He has also started a foundation to take care of family members. While he has not reached his goal of a billion dollars yet, his net worth has already increased to about $128 million.