DEARBORN, MO—Less than 24 hours after last night’s Powerball drawing, reports confirmed that the two winners of the $587 million jackpot are both already divorced from their respective spouses, alienated from their friends and families, and completely bankrupt.
According to sources, while Debra McInery, 56, of Dearborn, MO and Chris Linden, 32, of Fountain Hills, AZ were elated upon winning the record-breaking lottery prize, both quickly blew through the roughly $192 million lump sum they each received, spending it on various failed business investments, reckless gambling habits, and costly divorce proceedings.
“They just don’t tell you how quickly the money goes,” said McInery, who since last night has reportedly received a nine-figure check, purchased a $300,000 luxury vehicle, separated from her husband, spent more than $14 million on a custody battle, and undergone eight cosmetic surgeries. “My family and I were thrilled when we saw the winning numbers on TV, and an hour later I was being sued by my parents and defaulting on the payments for my Manhattan townhouse.”
“I lost everything,” McInery continued. “My children, my friends, my home. Everything.”
Records indicate that in addition to racking up millions in debt, both McInery and Linden have had all their assets seized by government officials, barely survived a number of home invasions, and developed dangerous addictions to alcohol and prescription painkillers.
Linden, who before winning last night’s Powerball was reportedly single and working as a claims adjuster in Fountain Hills, has since quit his job, exchanged vows in a lavish wedding ceremony on a private Caribbean island, and been through a divorce. Sources confirmed he is now barely making ends meet by working as a cashier at the same 4 Sons Food Store at which he purchased the winning ticket.
“The worst part is how quickly everyone turns on you,” said Linden, explaining that within an hour of meeting his now-ex-wife, she had married him, cheated on him with a close friend, and taken half his winnings in a divorce settlement. “My friends and coworkers all called to congratulate me when they found out I won, and then 45 minutes later we were all fighting each other in court.”
“By morning I had been confined to a drug treatment and rehabilitation center,” he added. “That was when everything really went downhill.”
While acknowledging that McInery and Linden’s lives were ruined in a startlingly brief span of time, lottery officials noted that the two have managed to avoid the pitfalls of most jackpot winners, who are typically found dead within six hours of their numbers being announced.
“Money changes everything,” McInery told reporters from the jail cell she was confined to after her arrest this afternoon on fraud and conspiracy charges. “One minute you’re imagining how you’re going to spend this massive fortune, and by dinnertime you realize you’ve spent 100 percent of your winnings, you’re the victim of identity theft, and you have absolutely no one to turn to.”
“And this is all before taxes,” McInery added.