Laodicea: Lukewarm Church (4 of 4) by Stephen Whitney
This content is part of a series.Laodicea: Lukewarm Church (4 of 4)
Jack Whittaker of West Virginia became an instant celebrity on Christmas Day 2002 after winning the $315 million Powerball jackpot. He took his winnings in a lump sum of $113 million after taxes and at a news conference he came across as a jolly saint promising to donate to his church and contribute to other causes.
He soon created a charity to help people find jobs, buy food and get an education. He split $7 million among three churches; gave money to improve a Little League park and to buy playground equipment and coloring books for children.
Then in August 2003, a briefcase containing $545,000 was stolen from his sport utility vehicle at a strip club and the investigation that followed revealed that he was a high-stakes gambler.
In May he was sued by two men claiming they were injured when he had them thrown out of a nightclub and in another lawsuit three
female employees of a racetack claim he assaulted them. Then, in January he was accused of threatening and assaulting a bar manager. He was fined $100 and ordered to attend weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The lawsuits raised questions about whether he would be able to fulfill his many promises to help others with the money he won.
Some time later his 17-year-old granddaughter Brandi was found dead of a drug overdose for which he blamed himself as he gave her all the money she wanted to spend. As a result of her death he began drinking and was arrested twice for drunken driving.
When Jack Whittaker won Winning the $315 million jackpot he thought the money would bring him satisfaction as he would be able to help others, but instead it brought him all kinds of sorrow.
Puritan Richard Greenham wrote, "Poverty has slain a thousand, but riches have slain ten thousand. They are very uncertain, they promise that which they cannot perform."
ACCUSATION - Complacent :14-17
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