Mega Millions $312M Winner in Albany, New York


If the odds of winning aren't daunting enough, some who did snag the big prize have found it's not all a bed of roses. Take the 2002 Powerball winner who won $315 million. Jack Whittaker shared his story with "Good Morning America" five years after the big win.

"I wanted to build churches," said Whittaker. "I wanted to get people food that didn't have food. I wanted to provide clothing for children that needed clothing." Instead, Whittaker wishes away the luck that won him $315 million that started a chain of events that led to the loss of his beloved granddaughter from a drug overdose and the breakup of his marriage.

Of course, plenty of winners do change their lives with lottery wins. But it's no strategy for financial security. What's the best path?

"Focus on the things you can control," says Judith Ward, a certified financial planner at T. Rowe Price. "You can control how much you save for retirement. You can't control what the stock market is going to do or if the numbers are going to come up [in the lottery] but you can control your retirement nest egg."

To get started saving or to improve your strategy, click here for advice from our money expert Mellody Hobson.

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