U.S.'s richest lottery winner is like a kid in a candy store
WINFIELD, W.Va. -- The gossip about Jack Whittaker, America's richest lottery winner, is as juicy as the meatloaf at Jan's Restaurant across from the courthouse here.
Whittaker, 56, of nearby Scott Depot, won the biggest single lottery payoff in the USA on Christmas Day 2002 -- $314.9 million. He accepted the money wearing a black cowboy hat and a big smile, and he pledged to give 10% of it to three preachers.
Since then, Whittaker has been pulled between Christian charity and trouble. He is building two churches, feeding and clothing poor children and building senior citizen housing.
He also has been charged with assault and drunken driving. And he has had a total of more than $600,000 in cash taken from his car, once while he was in a strip club giving ''generous tips'' to young women, a court file says.
''If you sit on his lap, he'll give you how much? $10,000?'' jokes Leota Young, 71, as her two lunch mates at Jan's laugh.
''That's all right,'' Parthenia King, 64, says later during lunch. ''When it comes down to the Judgment Day, he won't buy himself out of that, will he?''
'Can tell everyone to kiss off'
Story from USA Today
I'm glad he's enjoying his money - even more glad that some of it is finding its way to charities, but the "telling everyone to kiss off" isn't going to work when he kills someone while driving drunk. The guy can afford to hire a driver and that's where his money should be going if he's got to go out drinking. Its going to cost him a lot more - his freedom - when he takes it too far.