Plucked from obscurity and shoved into the media spotlight; someone’s life is changed forever. One hit wonders and lottery winners both have all-of-a-sudden, bolt of lightning changes of fortune in common. For musicians who make it big off one song it must’ve felt like they’d won the lottery; all of a sudden their song is being played four times an hour on every station and they’re selling out stadiums. For lottery, winners, well, they won the lottery! Whether they won the old fashioned way or by playing the world’s biggest jackpots online at sites like theLotter.com, life would never be the same. Here’s a quick list of one-hit-wonders and lottery winners to see what each did with their good fortune and how it changed their lives.
Minneapolis based band Semisonic had everyone singing along to their 1998 alt rock single “Closing Time” from their second studio album Feeling Strangely Fine.
Dan Wilson, Semisonic’s lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, wrote “Closing Time” and after Semisonic’s hiatus in 2001 he continued to have a successful career in music. To date, Wilson has won two Grammy awards. As a songwriter, winning Song of the Year for “Someone Like You” by Adele, and as a producer, winning Album of the Year for “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks. Wilson has also penned hits for Taylor Swift, Pink, Weezer, and Nas.
Kevin Lyttle, “Turn Me On” https://youtu.be/GP3Exc5tCtc
Kevin Lyttle’s hit “Turn Me On” packed dancefloors and put bodies in motion when it dropped in 2003. This catchy, Caribbean-inflected tune made it to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, topped charts throughout the world, and turned Kevin Lyttle into a multiplatinum artist. However, Lyttle couldn’t quite replicate the success of “Turn Me On” and his once rising star rapidly faded.
Since then, Kevin Lyttle was named “Cultural Ambassador” of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Lyttle also founded the Janice Lyttle Foundation for heart disease education and support. He has also raised $500,000 in medical supplies for St. Vincent.
James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful” https://youtu.be/oofSnsGkops
This is a completely untested claim, but, it’s possible that the chorus to James Blunt’s 2004 hit “You’re Beautiful” scored more melodramatic moments on TV shows and movies in the mid 2000’s than any other song. At the very least, it’s safe to say that many a listener swooned when Blunt crooned “you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, it’s true…”
Since then, Blunt has branched out from music; he owns a stake in a Hong Kong restaurant called La Vache and hosts the Australian version of the TV show X Factor. Also, check him out on Twitter to see how to deal with haters and trolls.
Jane Park won £1,000,000 with her first lottery ticket in July 2013 at the age of 17. At first, Park did what anyone would do with a lottery jackpot and splurged; buying Louis Vuitton handbags, getting a breast enhancement, throwing herself a lavish 18th birthday party, and buying a massive house on the outskirts of Edinburg.
However, Park quickly realized that the old adage about money not being able to buy happiness is true. She found her new house to be lonely and decided to rent it out while she moved back in with her mum in a council estate in Edinburg. She avoids luxury hotels because ‘I find with expensive hotels the food is too posh and the people are a bit snobby, I don't like that. I have ordinary taste. I like going on holiday and being around people with the same personality as me.' Park has even taken a job at a chip shop, sometimes working the late shift and asking ‘salt n’ sauce?’ with every order.
Michael Carroll was 19 years old and working as a garbage man when he won the handsome sum of £9 million in 2002. It wasn’t long before stories of Carroll’s partying and debauchery became the stuff of tabloid fodder. He had a $3000 a day crack cocaine habit and spent freely on prostitutes and gambling. By 2009 Carroll was flat broke and the good times came to an end. Today, he works in a Scottish factory packing biscuits for $300 a week. Carroll says he’s happy despite his reversal in fortune: "I’ve only got one chance left –I’d have been dead in six months if I’d carried on that lifestyle of drinking and drug taking."
Denise and Paul Hardware were facing hard times when they discovered that they had won nearly £5 million in August 2007. Paul was going to be laid off from his job as a chef, where he worked opposite shifts from his wife leaving them very little time together. Instead, Paul and Denise were able to quit their jobs and take a cruise to let their good luck really sink in.
Since then they have used their winnings to put their son through college as well as establish savings accounts for their three grandchildren to help ensure their futures. Paul and Denise wisely invested a good portion of their money in real estate, ensuring future income for years to come. And, because they had just won the lottery, they also bought the house of their dreams plus a caravan for themselves in Trecco Bay, Porthcawl.
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Glasswerk is an online music news magazine and UK concert promoter.
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Glasswerk also promote concerts right across the UK and run the venue, Surya, in London.