Brother hired hit man over $16million jackpot win

In 1988 William ‘Bud’ Post had just over $2 to his name. In desperation he pawned a $40 ring and spent his takings entirely on Pennsylvania state lottery tickets.When he won $16.2 million he felt like the luckiest man in the world, until a string of unfortunate decisions and incidents left him penniless and alone.

Bud had a pretty sad existence. Placed in an orphanage at eight-years-old after his mother’s death, he’d never really had a family. Passing through a string of hopeless labourers jobs including a circus truck driver, he was on disability allowance when he gave his housekeeper Anna the $40 to buy lottery tickets. He won $16.2million.

William 'Bud' Post in his latter years

William ‘Bud’ Post in his latter years

Bud took his winnings in 26 annual instalments of $497,953.47. A fortnight after Bud had collected his first instalment he had spent more than $300,000. He bought a plane (without a pilot’s license), a liquor license, a lease on a Florida restaurant for his brother and sister and a used-car-lot for another brother. Within three months he was $500,000 in debt.


A year later Bud bought a mansion in Oil City, PA, but trouble was brewing. Bud’s brother had his eye on his cash and hired a hit-man to kill him.  But the hit-man failed and Bud lived on, frittering his cents away.

By this point Bud was living a lonely existence. He had lost contact with his brothers and sisters and a county court order told him to stay away from his sixth wife after he allegedly fired a rifle shot at her car, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Soon after his housekeeper Anna sued Bud. She claimed they’d agreed to split the winnings two-ways though Bud strongly denied this. After three years, Bud was ordered to give Anna a third if all his winnings. By now, Bud was so far in debt he couldn’t pay and the judge ordered a halt on his lottery payments until the dispute was resolved.


Bankrupt, Bud sold off his possessions and properties but still was unable to raise enough money to appease Anna. In 1996 he sold off his mansion for $65,000 and auctioned off his last 17 lottery payments. He had $2.6 million remaining.

But that didn’t last long. By the next year all that money was gone on two homes, another truck, three cars, two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, two 62-inch Sony televisions, a luxury camper, computers and a $260,000 sailboat.

Soon the debt collectors began arriving and on one occasion, suffering depression and living alone in his mansion, Bud fired a shotgun to scare them off.

In 1998 Bud was arrested on his boat after he refused to serve a prison sentence for the alleged shooting, years prior. Once the sentence was served it was reported that penniless Bud was living on a $450-per-month disability check.

Like many others before and since, including several of the lottery winners featured here on EuroMillions, Bud ended up wishing it had never happened: “Once I’m no longer a lottery winner, people will leave me alone. That’s all I want. Just peace of mind,” he told the Guardian.

On a bitter-sweet note and unlike Billy Bob Harell, another lottery winner of the time who committed suicide , Bud eventually managed to overcome his depression and soldiered on. He died in 2006, with seven failed marriages, ten children and nothing to leave them but his $450 disability check.




Filed Under: Stories From America


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  1. […] Brother Hired Hit Man Over $16million Jackpot Win […]

  2. […] The issue was not made any better for McNamara when Lynch was shot under suspicious circumstances a short while after these claims were leaked and it led to many pointing the finger at McNamara’s family due to the public awareness of the family’s criminal links. Such occurances of gun crime over lottery wins are almost unheard of in Europe and only occassionally happen in the US. […]