For many lottery players, purchasing a few tickets a week is nothing unusual. However, sometimes, what starts as a little bit of fun can turn into something more dangerous. That’s what happened to lottery addict Adam Osmond, whose addiction wreaked havoc in his life, nearly destroying it.
Who Is Adam Osmond?
Adam Osmond is a Farmington, Connecticut, man who had a bright future. He got his degree in business and opened his own convenience store after graduation. At the store, Osmond sold lottery tickets for the Connecticut Lottery, and that was his downfall.
Osmond’s relationship with the lottery started out innocent enough. He says he purchased his first ticket in 1986, but his addiction didn’t start to spiral out of control until many years later. Once Osmond’s business became more successful and he had constant access to lottery tickets at his convenience store, he just couldn’t help himself.
A Fun Hobby Grows Out of Control
Osmond says he first started struggling with his lottery addiction in 2002 when he started spending thousands of dollars on tickets each week. As his income grew, so did his spending: he eventually found himself printing off 54,000 tickets at his store-all for himself!
Part of Osmond’s issue is that he would occasionally win. He would always purchase small-play tickets, but one time, in November 2007, he hit a big prize. He won $50,000, taking home $37,500 after taxes. However, it only took him one week to spend all of the money from his win on more tickets, as he clearly had no idea what to do after winning the lottery so that his money would benefit him. However, Osmond’s true problem is that it wasn’t just his winnings that he was putting back into the lottery; he was also spending all of his income from his job and his business.
Osmond compared working at the convenience store to having his own casino. All of the time he spent at his store, he spent printing out tickets and spending more money on the lottery. He says that winning the big $50,000 prize only made things worse. As an addict, he was always chasing the next high, no matter how much he won. Regardless of the amount of money he won, he had a compulsion to continue purchasing tickets to recapture the feeling of winning-whether big or small.
Throughout the worst of Osmond’s addiction, which he says took place from 2002 to 2008, his family was unaware. Some weeks, Osmond would open the store on Saturday and Sunday so that he could gamble. While his spending got progressively worse, everything came to a head in March 2008 when he printed out 54,000 lottery tickets.
Osmond now says he was having a nervous breakdown due to his uncontrollable addiction and that printing those tickets was a cry for help. The worst part is he never even ended up cashing the tickets because he did not have the money to pay for them, but printing out over $250,000 worth of unpaid-for tickets caught the attention of lottery officials.
Adam Osmond’s lottery machine was shut down, and he was ordered to pay for the printed tickets. He spent years paying the Connecticut Lottery for the tickets, using money that could have gone towards his family, paying off his home, or growing his savings. Instead, he had to close his business and reveal his addiction to his friends and family. When his wife learned the truth about his gambling-and the dire financial situation he had place his entire family in-she left him and took the kids with her.
After years of paying off the tickets, a court decided in 2015 that the order for repayment was illegal. However, the damage was already done, and Osmond was already working on rebuilding his life.
What Is Adam Osmond Up to Now?
Fortunately, Adam Osmond was able to seek help for his addiction and turn his life around. Instead of spending all of his time and money on the lottery, Osmond picked up a much healthier habit: running. Since 2008, Osmond has participated in over 200 races, including marathons and ultra-marathons. As of 2016, his goal was to run in all of the 169 towns in Connecticut, 135 of which he’d already visited.
Osmond began working as an accountant and decided to use his skill for data analysis to help other people suffering from gambling addiction. He has even gone so far as to speak at the state capital to make a case for funding for gambling treatment programs.
On an individual level, Osmond also helps fellow recovering gambling addicts by introducing them to running. In 2016, Osmond was pursuing his running coach certification and was hoping to one day write a book about his experience.
Though it took many years and a nervous breakdown for Adam Osmond to address his gambling addiction, he is one example of how people suffering from lottery addiction can turn their lives around. Osmond says he hopes that people can learn from his mistakes and wants people to know that addiction can start small before taking over a person’s life. However, as long as a person is willing to get help, there is hope that they can stop their addiction before it gets out of control.