How Lottery Winners Splurge on Mansions, Yachts, and Cars

Matt Bell

lottery fortune yacht purchase

Half of the fun of purchasing a lottery ticket is daydreaming about how you’d spend a multi-million fortune. Pay off your debt. Invest. Help out your favorite people. Of course. But what if after all that, your lottery windfall netted you so much wealth, you could still make your wildest dreams come true? What’s the first thing you would do?

It’s a privilege only a few have ever gotten to experience, and you can bet these lucky people made their materialistic fantasies come true. Stories about these lottery winners include huge mansions, high-tech yachts, super cars, and more.

So, let’s take a look at what a few major jackpot victors have done with their money in the first few months after cashing in the winning ticket.

Lottery Winner Mansions: He Bought 3 Right Away

The most expensive home in America is located in Naples, Florida. It just went up on the market with an asking price of $295 million. You can bet, former architecture student Edwin Castro, winner of the record-breaking $2 billion Powerball jackpot in November 2022, has his eye on it.

His first few purchases after taking a lump sum payment just shy of $1 billion? Two of the most expensive mansions in California. Since claiming his one-time lump sum payment of $997.6 million, he has spent a combined $76 million on real estate.

This includes a $47 million compound in Bel Air, a $25.5 million mansion in the Hollywood Hills, and a $4 million Japanese-inspired house in Altadena, California. The Bel Air mansion has all the trim a newly minted near-billionaire could need of a party house–seven swank bedrooms. 11 bathrooms. An infinity pool, panoramic views of Los Angeles included. A champagne tasting room, a suspended glass walkway, wine cellar, champagne tasting room, and a theater.

The Hollywood Hills mansion, in the same neighborhood as Ariana Grande, Dakota Johnson and Jimmy Kimmel, is a bit more low key. Five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an infinity pool, wine cellar, movie theater, fitness studio, and two fire pits.

As of February 2024, Castro’s most recent billionaires club move was to hire the same public relations representative as former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

The Lottery Led to This $2 Million Dollar Yacht

If you love the water, and you win the lottery, you too might bee-line it for a yacht. Mega yachts, the kind you imagine tech barons owning fleets of, can cost half a billion dollars each with $20 million a year in maintenance.

More humble-brag worthy luxury yachts, or super yachts, average about $1 million per length foot brand new by 2023 standards.

Swimming pool instructor Larry Ross became won $60 million as part of a group who played Michigan’s Big Game lottery. In May 2000 they pocketed $363 million–the largest lottery winnings to date.

After donating $10 million, Ross set course toward a brand new, custom $2 million 55-foot Viking Yacht. A favorite among sport fishers, Viking yachts known for being the first to adopt brand new technology. Such a unique craft brought Ross a lot of attention, not all of it wanted, especially as he seemed to have moved on from this toy.

In the summer of 2006 an enterprising criminal had devised a fake party boat company by stealing Ross’s boat. It wasn’t discovered until the perpetrator crashed the boat and was caught red-handed. For his crime, $26,000 in restitution.

Penultimate Cars of the Instantly Rich

Ferrari 488 Turbo Challenge at Paddock Show of Ferrari Anniversary 1947-2017 in Mugello Circuit at Finali Mondiali Ferrari 2017. Italy — Photo by Dan74
(Ferrari 488 Turbo Challenge at Paddock Show of Ferrari Anniversary)

 

Keep an eye on Kürsat “Chico” Yildirim. Steelworker, former inmate, and winner of the equivalent of £8 million in Germany’s lotto in Dortmund lottery in September 2022. He burned through half in a five-month spending spree. Much of it on cars.

He first dropped his lottery winnings on a race car driver’s dream–a £392,000 Ferrari 488 Pista. An extraordinary, superfast, supercar–the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history. A whopping 710 horsepower.

Kürsat also bought a slightly more demure day ride–the £218,000 Porsche Turbo S2 Cabriolet, with a sightly more subtle 572 horsepower. Both hit zero to sixty in under 3 seconds.

The rest of his shopping was also a little nuts: His favorite pub, a penthouse in Istanbul, a pet alligator, and a plantation with 6,000 almond trees.

Over in the U.K., truck driver and race car enthusiast Tom Naylor won £15.5million in the Lotto Extra 2001. He lived out every other speed demon’s daydream: purchasing a super car for every day of the week.

His first bite? A £150,000 Jaguar XJR, his wife’s favorite car, and a beautiful blend of performance and style. But Naylor didn’t stop there. Next up? He snagged the ultra-sleek, Jaguar XJ220, one of 272 ever made. It held the record for the fastest road car in the world, until the arrival of the McLaren F1. Today, it is one of the most sought after cars in the Jaguar family, and thanks to winning the lottery, Naylor was able to buy it for £500,000.

Of his other cars, a Mustang V8, Land Rover Discovery, and another Jaguar, it’s his Aston Martin’s that stand out. Specifically the Aston Martin DB9, Bond Edition. The £170,000 car is one of 150 ever made.