Former lotto winner talks about struggles since win

As Powerball fever hits a record high, a past winner, here in Rhode Island is sharing his story and what he would do differently if given the chance.

Lawrence Croce of Wakefield, Rhode Island won a million dollars back in 2013.

"Yes I was very lucky that I won, but on the same token, I lost everything,” said Croce. 

After winning, Croce bought a boat and re–did some of his house. Now, he says he’s struggling financially and his life has really gone downhill.

In the years since hitting it big, the DOT worker says his wife of 30 years asked for a divorce and he’s struggled with his health.

"It was shock, people said you spent a lot of money too fast, said Croce.

But, despite the negatives Croce has his ticket for tonight’s record drawing.

He does have some advice if you happen to win.

"I would get a good adviser, someone that is excellent with money,” said Croce. "Most of all, get an excellent lawyer."

Over at Vista Donuts in Attleboro, crowds were pouring in all night. Each person ABC 6 News caught up with hoping to be the lucky winner.

Not too many, worried about the so–called curse of winning.

"It’s just fun.. if you win great if you don’t oh well,” said one lottery ticket buyer.

And with such high stakes, we spoke with several people trying out different strategies this time around.

"I’m going across the state and different state’s buying tickets. I bought over 100 some tickets already,” said Joe Royal.

© WLNE-TV 2016