A DEVASTATING twist left a millionaire lottery winner completely penniless and living in a shed covered with human poo.
David Lee Edwards, from Ashland, Kentucky, was unemployed when he took home £21million ($27 million) in lottery winnings in 2001.
But a toxic mix of frivolous spending and drug addiction resulted in the ex-convict splurging over half of his earnings in the first year.
"You know, a lot of people, they're out of work. Doesn't have hardly anything," he said at the time.
"And so I didn't want to accept this money by saying I'm going to get mansions and I'm going to get cars, I'm going to do this and that. I would like to accept it with humility."
Shortly after his lucrative triumph, the spendthrift purchased an opulent mansion, a private jet, and a bevy of luxury motors.
He purchased a £1.2million, 6,000-square-foot house in a private tennis and golf community in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, then spent £480,000 on another home nearby.
Edwards then paid £1.5million for a LearJet, bought three losing racehorses and even invested a fibre optics installation company and a limo business for £3.5million.
But the luxury living quickly ground to a halt.
Before long, he was reportedly hunched in a squalid storage shed in California surrounded by human faeces, together with his wife Shawna Maddux.
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Ms Maddux soon left and re-married but his first ex-wife and her new husband took pity on David and found him a space at a hospice care centre where he died aged 58.
It was later revealed that not only had Edwards spent his entire fortune, but he also owed in excess of thousands to others.
He had even reportedly borrowed money from a friend to pay his water bill and after his water was turned on, he used the rest to buy a pizza and £7 worth of lotto tickets from a local store.
The profligate had also historically struggled with drug addiction.
After a car accident left him with lingering back pain, Edwards developed a reliance on OxyContin.
This fuelled a spate of arrests for possession of illegal drugs including crack cocaine.
He even contracted hepatitis from the use of intravenous needles.
But before losing every penny of his fortune in 2006, he paid half a million to his ex-wife and her husband over custody of Edwards' then-teenage daughter, Tiffani.
But speaking to Mail Online, Tiffani alleged that it was Maddux who should shoulder the blame for her father's demise.
She said: "Shawna just started acting crazy. It was drugs that’s all.
"People kept telling my dad he should get rid of her but he never could.
"He tried to get her into rehab and she went a few times.
"He told me, near the end, that his one regret was not getting rid of Shawna and looking after himself but they were hooked on each other.
"And then they were just hooked on drugs."
In 2004 Edwards himself asked a judge to commit Shawna to a rehab program, afraid that her "extreme" drug use would see her accidentally overdose.
The distraught daughter also recalled her dad promising to "set aside $1million and I’d get it when I was 18. Then it was, when I was 21, then 25, then 30.
"Turned out he’d never even opened the account," she said.
But despite this, Tiffany later told how her dad had left her with nothing – not even a life insurance policy.
"There is NO MONEY anywhere!!!!" she wrote on Facebook.
Tiffani, was enrolled in a private college prep academy in South Florida during her dad's short brush with wealth, and now works as a clerk at an amusement park in West Virginia.
She saw her dad the day before he died and but said he was "all alone" – the one thing Tiffani said he had never wanted to be.
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The woman said the funeral was small, as she didn't want the occasion to be a "circus like his life was".
"He was a good man," she added, "I know he made wrong choices but he was a good man. Would he still be alive if he hadn’t won? Yes, I think he would."
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