David Lee Edward’s Lottery Winner’s Story


We’ve all heard stories about how lottery winners become one day millionaires and in the end become worse off than they actually started. Yet many of those stories are nothing but urban legends. Here’s one man’s real story, David Lee Edwards, an ex-con who won in the 2001 Powerball.

According to a feature done on him this weekend, He moved to Palm Beach County with $27 million, his take after taxes from the winnings. He was 46 and had recently been laid off.

Flush with cash, Edwards bought the $1.2 million home in the BallenIsles community, a $240,000 Bentley and a $250,000 Lamborghini. Several months later, he married his fiance in Hawaii and bought her a $250,000 electric-blue Ferrari.

Yet years later, he runs into trouble with heroin and cocaine again. The poor guy’s millions didn’t do much to change his life for the better, I guess. Today, he is awaiting court hearing. This weekend, hundreds of people went to the auction where Edwards’ furniture was being sold. This furniture used to be fixtures at his $1.2 million home in Palm Beach, which itself was already auctioned off already for $400,000.

This is as sad as stories go, I believe. Here was one man given the chance of a lifetime to get out of whatever rut he was in, the chance to revolutionize his life and that of others and what did he do with it? Here is to hoping that those of you who run into the same luck into the future make something better out of it!


  1. I hate to say, but I think this guy was a “turd” after seeing him on tv, his first appearence. They showed him after the win and he talked about how he wasen’t going to go crazy with the money……well I guess anyone might say that after they win because after all, the only thing most people want is to stop living paycheck to paycheck…if their lucky enough to have a job. After collectig his millions, they show his mansion, and ALL the crap, I mean things he bought. Some items he couldn’t even remember what they were , having to ask someone “what was this called again?” Well he liked it so had to buy it…and I guess it made his room off so had to buy one for the other side. This cost $80,000, and this cost me $130,000. Had that specially made for me and flown overseas…that cost me $180,000 and so on and so on. I mean this guy was buying in my opinion needless crap that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Why? Because he could? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the thought of I have the money so why not spend, spend, spend. But all I could think of is if you can’t pronounce it…you don’t need it. He had what everyone wishes for, prays for….and he acted like a “turd”. I heard the whole trouble started when he apparently wasen’t making his daughter go to school. Then with a look through of their mansion the drugs were found and then it all went down hill from there. I somehow ended up on a website that had his daughter defending her family by posting pictures of herself modeling expensive outfit, after outfit in “their mansion” to show that things are great and that they are still in their home. She also had a few, shall I say very distasteful pictures of herself posted? EEKKS.. So did they lose their home or not? And I think many want to know, if he’s a millionaire..why couldn’t he pay his past dues of like $8,000 to keep his home? Is he broke now? This just goes to show that winning the lottery dosen’t exactly give you the perfect life, but the public outcome it plays definetly shows you what not to do if and when you win the jackpot! I play a few bucks here and there. I know I’ll never win, but I guess they say your for sure never to win if you don’t play. So I say play on!! And maybe someday all them “Im gonna win it big some day!’ just might come true!

  2. I assure u when I win the lottery this will most certainly not happen to me. I already have plans to hire an excellent team of financial advisors and will set myself up on a strict budget so i will not overspend. He was a moron for squanderin away his millions.

  3. i new dave, i was around 16 years old, 26 years ago he was in prison with my dad in lexington ky. he used to talk with me and my two brothers when we visited my dad. he was a good friend of my dads while they were serving time at blackburn in lexington. i fill sorry for dave, i really thought he was doing good and living a dream. if this is all is true. maybe a book or movie could come out of this about his life, and end up with a happy ending after all.

  4. Mr. Edwards, according to reports from friends and such in Kentucky, is recovering with complications from various medical ailments. They say he is broke, and has been through a hard ride the past 7 years.

    Although he has made no public comments since last appearing on a Lottery Winner show in 2004, Edwards has in the past noted that if ‘he lost it all tomorrow, he’d have no regrets’. And, that ‘it would have been a hell of a ride’. Guess that ride is now over. And, from where he ended up, may have been better off before buying that lottery ticket at the ‘Pump & Ride’ joint.

    Friends had made the comment that Edwards lack of good sense, and judgement, was often impared by drug abuse. Sort of like a guy running around drunk with a load of cash, making rash calls and thinking out of the box.

    Pain meds seem to have been his main drug of choice. Or their street brother, Heroin. People who have knowledge of those drugs note that, especially with heroin, you require large segments of down time on the ‘nod’. How he found time to do those drugs, and blow all of his cash is still open to debate.

    Edwards, let’s hope is not ‘Already Gone’ as the Eagles sang. You gotta be hoping he’ll get his act together and maybe write a book. What a story he has to tell. If anyone has done something the hard way, its him.

    Our prayers are out to him and the family.

  5. This is first time in my life when I don’t know what to say. After reading all comments I’m shocked. What has happened with our society, with our young generation? They are commenting terrible information, their lexis sounds terrible. Is that true, that only words they know is “cool”, “cute” and cussing words? What are they thinking of? It’s better not to think about it, it’s too sad

  6. Well as proven, money can’t buy class or happiness. Though, the latter I happen to disagree with. I just don’t understand how someone is ‘given’ the chance of a lifetime and they blow it, run through it like water. One would think that after living paycheck to paycheck, you would choose wisely and make the money work for you, set financial goals, make long term plans….. What’s that saying, “Stupid is, is stupid does”? What a WASTE!

  7. The really sad part is, he initially decided to work with a financial planner, but pretty much disregarded everything the financial planner said & just did whatever the hell he wanted to do. Most applicable quote from the financial planner: “If he’d just followed the plan I drew up for him instead of spending his money as fast as he could, he would be receiving $85,000 a month for the rest of his life…”

  8. Been a long time since anyone posted on the blog about lottery winner David Edwards.

    Just thought I’d add that Edwards died November 30, 2013. Although no official cause was released friends who knew him said it was from hepatitis complications. They noted he had had his legs amputated some time ago, and had been in worsening health since 2012. He also was reported to have suffered a major stroke a few days before his death.

    Edwards was in hospice care when he died.

    Edwards had been broke since 2005, when he resorted to borrowing money from friends in Ashland. Most of that money, according to sources, was to purchase drugs for his wife and himself.

    Doctors noted in Florida he had advanced stage hepatitis is court documents as reason for his not showing at trial on drug charges in 2007. He went from Florida to Kentucky and medical care.

    Edwards leaves a daughter, Tiffani, and several grandchildren. Was 58.


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