Adam Osmond: The Compulsive Lottery Addict Who Spent Over $1 Million on Tickets
Countless people around the globe play in their favourite lottery every single day. These tickets are sold to people from all walks of life and add up to billions of dollars’ worth each year. Unfortunately, no screening process is used to check the purchasers of all of those tickets, and sometimes these tickets are bought by players who just can’t help themselves—even if buying tickets is leading them to financial ruin. We are remiss to say that the story of Adam Osmond is one of those stories. In this article about his life, we will see how a simple irregular purchase of lottery tickets turned sinister and cost Adam everything.
WHO IS ADAM OSMOND?
Adam Osmond is a local of Farmington, Connecticut. He worked hard while studying for a degree in business and soon after graduating opened his very own convenience store. By 1986, Adam was married with children and his business had begun taking root, earning him a decent amount of money each month that he and his family could enjoy. Adam was well respected in his community as a hard-worker, and nobody would ever have guessed that something would turn out amiss.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
In 1986, when things were just beginning to turn out great for him and his family, Adam started buying one or two lottery tickets a week. It probably did start innocently enough by simply wanting to win some money so that he and his family could have a better life. Unfortunately, because Adam owned his own convenience store—which had a lottery machine authorised to sell lottery tickets—things were all set up to get out of hand.
OSMOND’S DOWNWARD SPIRAL
Adam played in the lottery weekly for almost two decades without ever letting things run away from him. During this time, his convenience store thrived, and he started earning more and more money. In 2002, this new influx of cash prodded Adam to begin purchasing more lottery tickets. At first it started gradually, with just one or two extra tickets per week. But soon, it became much, much more. As Adam went on record to state, ‘It was like having my own casino.’
In the period between 2002 and 2008, Adam’s compulsion to purchase spiralled, and he ended up becoming a full-on gambling addict.
THE UNFORTUNATE WIN
In November 2007, Adam had a stroke of what some may consider luck. He managed to win a $50,000 prize on a lottery ticket that he had purchased. After taxes, he took home a generous $37,500. While most lottery winners would be thrilled with this kind of windfall and would put it to good use, Adam, sadly, spent it all on more lottery tickets within just a week—the first sign that something was seriously wrong.
Adam became obsessed with trying to beat his highest winnings. He began purchasing more and more tickets and started using almost all profits from his store to invest in the lottery. All this time, however, he carefully hid the fact from his family.
THE END OF IT ALL
Adam continued his manic purchase of lottery tickets until March 2018, when he suffered a nervous breakdown and lost all sense. In a short three-week period, he printed out almost 54,000 lottery tickets—totalling up to around $250,000! Considering the average American spends about $233 on tickets each year, one could Adam's spending was a little over the top. However, since he did not have the cash to pay for these tickets, the Connecticut Lottery finally shut down his lottery machine. Adam did not check or cash any of the tickets that he had printed due the sheer volume of tickets.
The Connecticut Lottery soon filed a lawsuit against Adam that required him to pay for all the tickets that he had printed. The court ruled in the lotteries’ favour, and Adam lost everything—his store, his home, and even his family, who moved to Louisiana to live with relatives.
A BRIGHT TURN OF EVENTS
Several years after the initial court ruling, after making thousands of dollars’ worth of payments to the lottery, Adam’s case was looked at again by the courts. They decided that because Adam had never cashed any of the tickets, the initial ruling was illegal and Adam no longer had to pay back the money for the tickets.
During this time, Adam has since taken up two new hobbies to keep himself from going back to playing the lottery. The first is running. Adam competes in marathons all across the country and spends hours each day running around his community training for his next big event. While doing this, he is always on the lookout for somebody who may be suffering from an addiction. He is an outspoken advocate against lottery and gambling addictions, and the first advice that he always gives addicts is that they should join him on a run.
NOTE ON LOTTERY ADDICTION
Adam’s story may have a relatively happy ending. However, there are many stories of lottery addicts that do not. Addictions to playing the lottery and gambling are not mere lottery myths but rather dangerous things that should not be taken lightly. If there is one thing to be learnt from Adam’s story, it is to get help before it is too late. If you want to learn about the symptoms and effects of lottery addictions, read our lottery addictions article. Hopefully, it will help you help yourself or anyone else you know who is in need.
In the meantime, check out this short documentary on Adam below: