Jailed lotto winner’s story a cautionary tale

By Staff | August 17, 2016 | Last updated on August 17, 2016
1 min read

In 10 years, Dan Carley has gone from total financial freedom to the four walls of a jail cell.

Carley, a 35-year-old father from southern Ontario, won a $5-million jackpot in February 2006. This month, he was sentenced to 2.5 years for cocaine trafficking.

He shared his journey with the Toronto Star, telling the paper he spent half his winnings on poor investments and a failed business venture in his first year as a millionaire. Carley also developed a drug addiction and estimates that “more than one-fifth of his prize cash” went to drugs over the years. His bank accounts were “gutted” by 2009, reports the Star.

Of his downturn, he told the Star, “I take full responsibility. I’m not blaming anybody else. I was uneducated, young. I didn’t even have a high school diploma at the time [of the lotto win].” Read his full story.

While Carley is an extreme example of what can happen when clients come into money, it’s important to understand the psychological impact of a windfall. To prepare clients and yourself, read these articles:

Help clients keep windfalls

A tax refund isn’t a windfall: Golombek

Prepare your clients with these inheritance horror stories

Jackpot! Two cents for lotto winners

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.