Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery? I know I have! Even one of the smaller jackpots worth a few million would change everything, but the bigger jackpots worth tens or hundreds of millions are almost unimaginable.
Deep down, most of us play knowing that the probability of winning it is highly unlikely. Yet, someone has to win them, and real people do every week.
I was interested in looking at what happened to people who really won the lottery. I’d read a few horror stories as well as a few nice ones, and I was curious to know how things had turned out for other lotto winners.
So, I got out my reporters pen and pad and started to research. Here’s what became of some of the UK’s luckiest lottery winners.
Callie Rogers – The UK’s Youngest Lotto Winner Who Now Campaigns for Reform
What was your first job? How old were you when you landed it? How much did you make per hour? For me, it was stacking shelves in a local supermarket on minimum wage after school. I was 16 years old.
That’s exactly the age Callie Rogers was when she won a £1.87 million jackpot. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she blew it all, but unlike many others who have wasted their lottery fortunes, she claims she’s happier than ever.
Rogers, now 32, claims that the lotto win ruined her life. It made her anxious, paranoid, and she experienced what she describes as “despair.” Why so? Because she didn’t know who her real friends were, and she says she suffered verbal and even physical abuse after her win. She was also ripped off by fake friends to the tune of £200k.
Nowadays, she’s a mum of three who works as a carer for £12k a year. She rents her home since there’s nothing left from her lotto win, and she says she’s happier than she has ever been.
Claiming she was too young to deal with the pressure, Rogers now campaigns to get the government to raise the minimum betting age to 18.
I have to admit, I’d never even thought about whether 16-year-olds should be allowed to play the lottery. I’ll have to think more about it. What do you think?
Melissa Ede – Vibrant Lotto Winner Who Died Shortly After Winning
Some lottery winners claim that they fear dying more after a win, perhaps because for the first time in their lives, they have the means to fulfill their dreams and make them a reality.
Melissa Ede was an eccentric transgender Englishwoman from Hull who scooped a £4 million win on a scratchcard. Two years later, she died while sitting in the front seat of her car with her partner, who thought she was joking when she passed out. She had just been given the all-clear after a heart scare.
This is a sad story, but the eccentric Mel had an unforgettable funeral that lives on in the memory of her friends and family. Mourners wore bright colors, including rainbow tuxedos. Mel’s coffin was carried in a rainbow-colored carriage, and friends buried her with a series of strange objects such as her Pokemon:GO collection, her phone, and some cans of Red Bull.
By all accounts, she lived fast and had a heck of a good time in the short years she got to experience her lottery win. Friends testified that she still loved a bargain even after her lottery win and created her own reality show on YouTube after she won.
Colin and Christine Weir – Lotto Win Propelled Them Onto UK Rich List
For most of us, a few million pounds would do the trick. That sort of win would let us travel the world, buy a nice house, get the car of our dreams, and invest for the future.
Yet, some lotto jackpot winners scoop more than they’ll ever need. They win not just enough money to change their lives, but to have a considerable impact on the world, too. Colin and Christine Weir from Scotland were such a couple, winning £161 million in 2011.
Since then, they’ve lived the life we all dream about—a couple of luxury mansions, a fleet of cars, lots of nice holidays, you get the picture.
Yet, as many wealthy people attest, the material things weren’t enough in and of themselves. The Weirs soon started to use their wealth for good, giving to causes they believe in across Scotland, and supporting the SNP political party, which fights for Scottish independence from the UK.
Jane Park – 17-Year-Old Lotto Winner Turned Instagram Model
What is it with lottery winners claiming that a big win has ruined their lives, eh? I know I’d like to test that theory, and I’m pretty sure I could have a heck of a go at making it work.
Jane Park was 17 when she won the lottery and has become somewhat of an Instagram model since. She regularly makes the tabloids who report on her dating life, spending sprees, and—being the UK press—her misfortunes in love and other areas. For example, tabloids had a field day when she reported she had a “bum lift” which had gone wrong.
Like many young UK lotto winners, Miss Park claims that winning £1 million in the lottery has ruined her life. She told the Sunday People that her life feels empty apart from the material things she has. She has even threatened to sue the lottery for damages, claiming that people as young as her should not be able to play.
These days, Jane entertains her 230k fans on Instagram with her latest pictures, models, and parties like there’s no tomorrow. While her win was relatively small compared to some others on this list, it certainly doesn’t seem to have curtailed her lifestyle.
Michael Carroll – Lotto Lout Blows Through £9.7 Million
Are you 100% convinced that if you won £9.7 million in a UK lottery, it would set you up financially set for the rest of your life? I am, but I’m also aware that the temptations that would come would be next level, and sadly, it seems that too many people succumb to them.
Michael Carroll is without a doubt the UK’s most famous lotto winner, or perhaps I should say infamous. Branded the “Lotto Lout” by UK tabloids, he rose to infamy for his party-fueled lifestyle, drug habit, womanizing, love for cars, and ultimately, for blowing his entire jackpot on these pursuits.
Carroll, from Norfolk, was a binman when he scooped close to £10 million. He claims he bought the tickets with his last £4 and won. At the time, he planned to marry the mother of his first child, Sandra Aitken, and soon after the win, he did. The relationship didn’t last long, with Sandra claiming that he cheated on her constantly with prostitutes and surrounded himself with undesirable characters.
Carroll developed a £2,000 per day cocaine habit, claiming he was “sniffing the world away.” He racked up more than 30 court appearances for throwing hamburgers at pedestrians from luxury cars, and in one more serious incident, threatening youngsters with a baseball bat. He has served three prison sentences as a result of these and other crimes.
By 2012, the “King of Chavs” was down to zero and signed onto unemployment benefits. These days, he works for £10 per hour, hauling logs around and lives in a modest two-bedroom house in Scotland. He claims that if he won again, he would still work.
When asked what it feels like to lose £9.7 million, Caroll told The Sun newspaper, “I didn’t lose it. I spent it. I had a great time doing it.” He also said that going broke was the best thing that happened to him.
What to Do If You Win the Lottery
The above is only a short list of some of the UK’s luckiest lotto winners. There are many others, some of whom have remained anonymous, and others who have similar stories to those above.
Two things seem certain: Winning the lottery can ruin lives, and the UK press loves to print stories about people’s misfortunes. However, there are some things you can do if you win the lottery to ensure you remain happy and don’t lose the lot.
Consider Remaining Anonymous — Camelot (the firm which runs the UK lotto) gives you a choice about going public. It’s probably a good idea to remain anonymous if some of the above stories are anything to go by. I think I would genuinely tell my immediate family only and nobody else. Many of the problems in the stories above seem to stem from “hangers on” and fake friends bleeding winners dry and moving on.
Get Financial Advice — After experiencing a big lotto win, your first instinct might be to go on a spending spree. However, trustworthy financial planners could help you make it last longer. For example, if you invested £10 million at 5% a year returns (modest), you would have £500k a year to spend without touching the principle. This essentially means you would have endless money for the rest of your life by any reasonable standards and would never go broke.
Live Your Dreams — This goes without saying. You’re rich, and you can do whatever you want with your newfound wealth. Buy a dream house, take that holiday you have always wanted, and live the good life. Just do it in a sustainable way which allows you to keep living it for the rest of your days.
Now that you’ve seen how some of the richest UK lotto winners have lived since, why not read some lotto tips and try your luck? After all, as the famous lotto ads say, “It could be you!”
Based out of London, I began freelance writing for the UK section of GamblingSites.org in October of 2019. Having worked in the gambling industry for over 10 years, I now have the pleasure of adding this site to my list of accomplishments as a casino writer. ...
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