Not all lottery stories have a happy ending, and Jack Whittaker knows this best – he faced many personal tragedies since winning $315.000.000 on Powerball all the way back in 2002. A couple of days ago, it was reported that his house in Virginia was destroyed in a fire, but fortunately no one was injured in this terrible accident.
The home was located a few miles south of the West Virginia border, and it burned down on Friday morning after the fire started in the kitchen. Volunteer fire-fighters from five separate departments battled the blaze after a fire consumed the entire residence. The house, which was not insured, suffered extensive damage and was eventually declared a total loss. According to Rocky Gap Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dino Willis, the house belonged to Powerball winner Jack Whittaker, who wasn’t present at the moment of the accident. His wife was there, but she got out safely and wasn’t gravely injured.
The 55-year-old Whittaker was already a millionaire when he scooped a $315.000.000 Powerball jackpot, becoming one of the richest individual winners in the game’s history. Lottery win tends to turn almost everyone’s life for the better, but it didn’t happen in Whittaker’s case – he suffered a string of bad luck in the upcoming years.
Robbers broke into his car on two separate occasions, stealing around $745.000 in cash. His 17-year-old daughter Brandi Bragg was found dead in December 2004 – her body was wrapped inside a plastic tarp and the police have found cocaine and meth in her system, but no one was ever charged with her murder. By 2007, Whittaker said his bank account had mostly been cleaned out, since he faced a lot of legal troubles after his Brandi’s death. Two years later, his 42-year-old daughter Ginger Whittaker Bragg was found dead in Daniels, West Virginia.