|Randy Rush, photo by Rebecca Blissett Photography|
Q: Why did you decide to write this book about your experiences after winning the lottery?
So many people have asked me what it’s like to win the $50 million lottery and I wanted to capture the rocket-ride journey for them. But I also wanted to expose the greed that emerges and share my experiences of being conned and so personally betrayed by someone I trusted and loved.
I am determined to raise awareness about the devastating impact of white-collar crime and expose these criminals to the world so they can’t prey on anyone else.
Q: Did you need to do any research to write the book, and if so, did you learn anything especially surprising?
A: I already had extensive court documents detailing the millions of dollars in fraud committed against me by Jeremy Crawford and the rest of the Crawford gang.
I also knew that there were others who had been targeted by the Crawfords but I was unaware of the scope and magnitude of their crimes until I started hearing from more and more Crawford victims and hired a researcher to dig into their claims and Jeremy’s past.
I was blown away by what we discovered. We traced Jeremy and Amy Crawford’s frauds back more than 20 years and found that they spanned virtually every business sector.
I also discovered that Jeremy’s parents, Dave and Shirley Crawford, had played an active role in their crimes. The Crawfords had scammed more than a hundred people and devastated them both financially and emotionally.
I couldn’t believe that they weren’t rotting away behind bars. They are serial con artists, yet the laws are so lax when it comes to white-collar crime that they have been free to continue preying on people and destroying their lives.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from your story?
A: The takeaway is hope. No matter the highs or lows you experience, there is hope at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter how many times you are knocked down, just stand back up and keep going.
The other takeaway comes down to our responsibility to act when we see injustice.
In my case, I feel like it's my duty to take on white-collar crime and expose criminals like the Crawfords to the world so they can’t prey on others. There are so many injustices that need to be addressed and if we all stand up and do our part, we can right these wrongs and make the world a better place.
Q: What impact did your experiences have on you, and was it difficult to write about them?
A: Writing about my experiences was definitely hard. It opened some old wounds and triggered some old ways of thinking. It was emotionally draining at times but it was also very therapeutic to get it out from the inside. It made me stop and think of things I hadn’t thought about from childhood.
All in all, it was powerful to reflect on my life journey. It made me realize that the hard times work hand in hand with the positive times, and that I couldn’t have had one without the other. The tough times have helped shape me and helped me grow as a person and I am very happy with who I am as a result.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Through Rantanna Media (www.rantannamedia.com), my new publishing and production company, I'm developing more stories that spotlight white-collar crime and other social injustices and am exploring media partnerships to bring these stories to film. I'm also using my platform to continue raising awareness about white-collar crime and its devastating impact.
In addition, I’m continuing my philanthropic work in Africa — supporting various education initiatives to ensure the continent’s most vulnerable children have access to a world-class education.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb