CHARLESTON, W.Va — The wife of the lottery winner who took home the richest undivided jackpot in U.S. history says she regrets his purchase of the $314 million ticket that has thrust her family into the public spotlight.
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“I wish all of this never would have happened,” Jewel Whittaker told The Charleston Gazette for Tuesday’s editions. “I wish I would have torn the ticket up.”
Since winning the lottery two years ago, her husband, Jack Whittaker, has been arrested twice for drunken driving and has been ordered into rehab. He also faces charges he attacked a bar manager, and is accused in two lawsuits of making trouble at a nightclub and a racetrack.
There have been several thefts involving Whittaker’s vehicle, his office and his house in Scott Depot. One of the thefts occurred at his home in September on the same day an 18-year-old friend of Whittaker’s granddaughter was found dead there. The death remains under investigation.
Last week Whittaker, 57, reported his granddaughter missing. Putnam County sheriff’s Sgt. Lisa Arthur said the granddaughter is not considered a kidnapping victim.
Whittaker took his winnings in a lump sum of $113 million after taxes. He has donated more than $20 million to charity, said his lawyer, Norm Daniels.
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