Rags to Riches
One night, Amy ran out to the store to buy a gallon of milk, but returned with a lottery ticket instead. "I thought, 'I'm just going to buy some lottery tickets and see what happens,'" she remembers.
That same evening, Amy called the lottery office to check her numbers...and found out she was the big winner! The roll of quarters Amy brought to the store had suddenly grown into $15.5 million. "It's an unbelievable feeling to win that much money," she says. "I thought, 'I'm set for life.'"
Amy quit her job driving buses and Tom quit his job building cabinets, and the new millionaires began spending their winnings. The money, paid out annually over a 20-year period, totaled $487,000 per year after taxes.
The couple bought a big new house and took expensive trips to Ireland, Alaska, Cancun and Hawaii. "We just bought whatever we wanted," Amy says. "It's amazing how fast that money can go."
As Amy and Tom started enjoying their new lifestyle, friends and family began asking them for loans. Amy estimates she's given away almost a million dollars over the years. "I've been hurt many times by people that I thought were friends," she says. "I just have a problem with saying no."