Back in 1992, Joseph T. Jones Jr. won the jackpot in a Pennsylvania Wild Card Lotto and chose to be paid $993,000 annuity for the next 21 years. He had just cashed the last check, but had not squandered most of the windfall he has received in past years. And he could have blown all that money away really fast, if he had not beaten a serious sports betting addiction just before claiming his prize.
His gambling addiction was it caused his wife to file for divorce. True love won in the end, and they reconciled but he had to give up his gambling with one exception; his wife Andrea allowed him to buy lottery tickets once in a while. So he bought tickets and often did not even take the time to check for winnings – he just had to have the feeling he might just hit the big jackpot one day.
And there’s another interesting aspect to his story – he only learned he had hit a $20.8 million jackpot nearly a year after the draw, and just two days before the ticket expired.
He still lives simply, and his spending is tightly controlled by his wife, whom he jokingly refers to as “the judge.” More than the lottery, Joseph has won back his family.