Claim: A lottery winner was run over by a truck just hours after his win.
Origins: Those who dream of hitting it big on the lottery usually picture themselves as living the life of Riley
in the wake of the big win. They imagine themselves basking in luxury and pleasure. They don’t imagine
themselves meeting the fate that befell one 2004 winner.
On 22 January 2004, a man who won $73,450 in an Indiana lottery game taped for television died scant hours later when 73-year-old Carl Atwood of Elwood, Indiana, was knocked down by a truck and expired shortly thereafter in an Indianapolis hospital.
That evening he had been walking to the grocery store that had sold him a winning ticket when a pickup truck rounded a corner and struck him. (The store was located one block from his home.) “It was at an unlighted intersection, and
The unlucky septuagenarian had just come out on top in a
Hoosier Millionaire competition contested between six lucky purchasers of “automatic seat” scratch-off instant tickets. During the taping he won $19,000 in preliminary rounds and tripled his winnings in the final round.
Upon being awarded the money, Mr. Atwood had said: “I am very thankful. I must admit that I never expected to be leaving the show with this amount of money. Now I can purchase a very nice car.”
Atwood would have been among winning players invited back to the program to compete for a
Carl Atwood was not the first lottery winner to expire shortly after coming into his fortune. In September 1990, 37-year-old William Curry of Boston died of a heart attack two weeks after hitting a
Barbara “going out in grand style” Mikkelson
Originally published: 29 January 2004
Last updated: 12 January 2016
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Brandon Echter
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.