A $2M lottery jackpot followed by an unfortunate death
Two million dollars is more than enough to retire and live comfortably without ever working again. A man who would be 69 years old today, Leroy N. Fick got the opportunity to do just that when he won a “Make Me Rich!” lottery in June 2010. He got to keep $850,000 in a lump sum and managed got to spend it at his own discretion. The $20 scratch-off ticket certainty flipped his life upside down.
Interestingly enough, Leroy still insisted on using food stamps even though he had more than enough to buy a Walmart franchise. He was quickly turned in by a clerk at a grocery store but didn’t get in much trouble as he didn’t break any laws. He then earned an infamous title and was called the “food stamp millionaire” years after.
Although Leroy could have stretched out his funds for years to come, he chose to spend most of his winnings in a span of two years building a new residence, purchasing a blingy ride, and buying an overwhelming amount of fireworks. Leroy also got in a load of trouble for having illegal fireworks in his possession in 2012.
It’s interesting to see what people do with the money when winning such massive amounts, and Leroy didn’t do much good with his, as far as we know. Ever heard the saying “money can’t buy class”? This was precisely the case for Leroy. He continued living in a somewhat hoarded house and maintained what some would consider a mediocre lifestyle. Unsurprising being that Leroy won the lottery right amid a financial crisis when he would pick up cans to deposit in exchange for money. It can be challenging to make the right financial choices when the money drops from the sky at such a random point in life. Perhaps appointing his son to be his financial advisor wasn’t the brightest of ideas either.
But blowing a million dollars in less than two years isn’t the worst that can happen. In early June of 2021, Leroy was found dead in a Michigan river. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what happened, but it doesn’t seem like an intentional or premeditated murder - at least according to the police department. It’s safe to assume he wasn’t killed for money, being that Fick already spent it all years ago. Whatever it was, it’s rare that anyone simply falls in a river and dies. It’s possible that it could have been a suicide or another unknown reason linked to the gain and loss of the $2M lottery.
An important lesson to draw from this story is that money does not guarantee a happy life. Or a long one, for that matter. As unfortunate as Leroy’s story was, it’s safe to assume that a better course of action could have taken his fate in a completely different direction.