10 Most Spectacular Lottery Burnouts

Lisa Arcand Lost Dream Business
Lisa Arcand's dream business -- a seafood restaurant -- closed six months after it opened. Digital Vision/Thinkstock

In April 2004, Lisa Arcand was a single mother living in Lawrence, Mass., when she bought a lottery ticket. Within days, her purchase paid off: She'd become a millionaire.

And like many newly minted millionaires, Arcand starting splurging immediately. First, she hosted a party for 20 of her friends and family, who ordered several $200 bottles of wine during the bash. She enrolled her son in a private school with $10,000 annual tuition, went on a couple of vacations, and bought a house filled with new furniture. Then she embarked on her dream of buying and operating a hometown restaurant. However, fewer than six months after opening the seafood restaurant, financial woes forced Arcand to shutter the eatery [source: Young].

Of all the new things Arcand tried, the one thing she didn't do was save a nest egg. "I talked to a few people, but determined that putting money away wasn't worth it," she said. While the lottery mandated annual payments of $35,000 rather than a lump sum, a financial services company aggressively went after her, offering an upfront payment of $200,000 in exchange for $15,000 per year of her winnings. While this gave her more up-front cash, it put her in a higher tax bracket, further reducing her money.

Left with a failed business, an empty savings account and few prospects on the horizon until she received her next annual lottery payment, Arcand was resigned to wait for her luck to turn. Again.