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5 Lotto Millionaires – What It's Like to Win the Lottery

Ah, winning the lottery – isn't that everyone's dream? And how could it not be? With its high variance, it is the ultimate chance for betting an insignificantly small amount of money and potentially scooping a million or a few millions of pounds. Who cares if the odds are against you? Who cares if you're more likely to get struck by a lightning than to win the lottery. Just when you decide to be smart about it and stop buying lottery tickets, there comes the next big winner, whose life will be changed forever because they've hit the jackpot. Here are 5 of the most interesting cases of UK lotto winners.
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A Well-Deserved Win

Kevin Jones from Crewe, Northern England

Mr Jones and his wife had a taste of failure before they hit the £6.1m lottery jackpot in May 2016. A few years prior to their huge win, they lived in Spain when their house was broken into twice in the same weekend and they were left with nothing. They had to drive back to England and start over. And what a brand new start – they scooped the Lotto jackpot! A decent fellow that he is, Mr Jones went on to do his job as a bus driver right after he found out he had struck rich because he didn’t want to let people down. One of the first things he bought were two Everton seasonal tickets. He was happy that he had both the time to go to the home matches of his favourite team with his son and the money to afford the seasonal tickets. He used to work 12-hour shifts including Saturdays and Sundays. He also came up with a fresh way of celebrating the 1-year anniversary of his big win – he shared some of his luck with the people in town by handing out golden envelopes containing lottery tickets.

“Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life.” Cecil Rhodes

The Record-Breaking Jackpot

Adrian and Gillian Bayford from Haverhill, Suffolk

This couple isn’t just some random winner of a measly million quid. In August 2012, Adrian and his wife scooped the record-breaking EuroMillions jackpot of £148million, which was the biggest jackpot won ever at the time. And everything seemed peachy. However, 15 months later, they split and Gillian took their two sons to her native Scotland. Later on, Adrian met and fell in love with a Samantha Burbidge. He took her on lavish vacations and catered to her hobby – horses and show jumping. What seemed a fairy-tale at first ended with Sam taking the horses, horsebox, and car, worth £2m he had bought for her and leaving the squillionaire for a former boyfriend, who had no money and lived with his parents. Both Adrian and Gillian fell apart with their friends and relatives as it seemed everyone thought they were entitled to a bigger piece of the humongous fortune than they’d been given. So, winning the jackpot did change their lives – but not as they expected, on the contrary it made some decidedly negative changes.

The Elusive Jackpot

Edwina and David Nylan from Fleetwood, Lancashire

The couple in their 50s thought they had played all 6 winning numbers for the December 23, 2015 lottery draw, so they rejoiced in the idea of starting the new year by joining the millionaire club. Unfortunately, because of a technical glitch they never got the £35million they thought belonged to them. The couple had played online with random numbers and claimed they saw a confirmation of their ticket purchase. They had allegedly been playing online for some time and knew what they were doing. They did have a problem with not having enough money to buy the lotto ticket, so they had to top up first. The company behind The National Lottery, Camelot, said the system had recorded their attempt to buy a ticket but that’s not the case with the top-up and the purchase of a ticket. They couldn’t comment if the couple would have won as they couldn’t see details, such as what numbers they were trying to play when the purchase failed due to insufficient funds. The couple said they’d never play the lottery again.

A Million Worth of Misery

Jane Park from Edinburgh, Scotland

A Lotto Windfall – Happiness or Misery?Britain’s youngest ever lotto millionaire was merely 17 when she won the million-pound EuroMillions jackpot in July 2013. She got lucky with her first ticket ever. She splurged on posh cars, including an £18,000 custom Range Rover in the colour purple to pay tribute to her favourite team Hibernians, expensive designer hand bags and shoes, a house, frequent exotic holidays, and plastic surgery. But then her carefree life started seeming lonely as her friends would get back to school or their jobs and she felt left out of normal life, wishing she hadn’t won in the first place. Perhaps she should have kept on playing for a few decades never winning much – that would have made her appreciate her winning more. But life has a different lesson for her.

She’s young, rich, and famous. She’s always complaining how winning the lottery has made her life miserable – at talk shows, on Twitter, and in interviews. She was even the star of a BBC documentary entitled “Teenage Millionaire: The Year I Won the Lottery”. Probably the most popular lottery winner, she’s everywhere in the papers and magazines – by herself or with the next celebrity boyfriend. But she isn’t thankful to Camelot. On the contrary, she’s considering suing the National Lottery.

One Jackpot – Good; Two Jackpots – Better

David and Kathleen Long from Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire

Remember that getting struck by lightning is much more likely than hitting a lotto jackpot? Well, what about scooping the jackpot twice? This lucky couple first won in July 2013 when they almost missed out on the payout because they had thrown the ticket into the garbage. But they did cash out. And so they did again in March 2015 when they won £1m pounds for the second time. The odds of winning the EuroMillions twice are 283 billion to one, which makes it times less likely than the following, as quoted by Daily Mail:

  • Being killed after an asteroid kits the earth – 78 million to one
  • Being eaten by a shark – Four million to one
  • Elvis being found alive this year – 50,000/1
  • Simon Cowell becoming prime minister – 10,000/1
  • England to win the next three World Cups – 2,500/1
  • The next royal baby being called Wayne – 500/1

Despite winning a million quid, they remained in their static caravan. They decided to buy David’s mother a home instead and got a dream wedding after a 12-year-long engagement – the colours of the ceremony were white and red as Mr. Long is a huge Liverpool FC fan. The second million-pound win, however, convinced them they should move into a bigger house. David said they weren’t looking for a mansion as long as it had a game room and a bar. Surprisingly, Mr. Long said he believed he’d win the first time as well as the second time and he doesn’t think it would be too much if he won a third time.

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