In 2002, Michael Carroll won an equivalent of $14.3 million in the British lottery, allowing him to walk away from his job as a trash collector. Now he’s training to return to that job, flat broke.
According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Carroll squandered his fortune in the time-honored way, on drugs, gaming, extravagant purchases and buying the attentions of prostitutes. He claims, in fact, to have dallied with 2,000 hookers, making up in stamina what he lacks in business acumen.
His behavior, including a $2,000 a day crack habit, drove away his wife and baby daughter. To entertain himself in their absence, Carroll lived fast, visiting the dog track, throwing outrageous parties, and occasionally taking pot shots at passing cars with ball bearings.
Carroll began collecting unemployment this February, pulling in a cool $61.60 a week. This is quite a drop from his average expenditures during his years of wretched excess, $148,958 a week. Once back on the rubbish route, however, his income will climb to almost $300 a week, or 0.2% of his typical tycoon expenditures.
Subtract rent, food, and incidentals, and Carroll won’t have much left for his favorite hobbies. However, he told the Mail that he’s happier now living on the dole than he was dealing with his fortune. My guess is that he was too drug-addled to really remember those days when he was rolling in gold.
Sadly, losing all of one’s lottery winnings is not that unusual. How would you spend $14.3 million? And how quickly?