His addiction spanned over a decade, but the worst period was between 2002 and 2008, when he owned two convenience stores in Connecticut. During that time, Adam would spend thousands on the lottery every single week.
‘I was hiding tickets from my family and I was so addicted to gambling that it took over my life.’
In March 2008, things took a turn for the worst, and Adam suffered a nervous break down after a decade of compulsive gambling.
‘The first week I printed about 54,000 tickets. None of them was cashed, I didn’t even check it – you can’t even possibly check all those numbers. The Connecticut lottery called me because I didn’t pay for it – I couldn’t pay for it. I was crying for help. By law they are supposed to shut my machine by that time, and the next week I printed tickets again – non-stop.’
For over the next three weeks, Adam printed over $250,000 worth of lottery tickets before his machine was finally shut down.
‘The Connecticut lottery didn’t shut my machine off when I was late payment, or even when I print all those tickets, because I was very valuable to them and I was one of their best customers.’
Adam became the first and only gambling addict to be convicted for printing lottery tickets, and was ordered to pay back the sum of the tickets he had printed – despite never cashing any of them in.
Heartbreakingly – Adam’s conviction and financial situation caused the break down of his family.
‘It’s really sad because, you know, this used to be my family in here – and now they are not here. Because of these tickets, my family cannot live here. And I’m still paying for this, a piece of paper that destroyed my family.’
Thankfully though – things are finally on the up for Adam. In November 2015, 7 years after his original conviction, a new judge reviewed his case and found his original penalty to be illegal. Adam now no longer has to pay back the remaining money from the uncashed tickets.
Instead, he’s finally picked up a more positive habit – running.
‘Since I stopped gambling, and when I hit the bottom, I picked up a better habit.’
‘I will never stop running. And I will tell my friends I’m running away from gambling.’