Begging Letters Force Euromillions Jackpot Winner to Close Shop

January 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Lottery News, Lottery Winners

After hearing that Adrian Bayford, the winner of the £148 million Euromillions jackpot in August 2012, has been forced to close his beloved music shop in Suffolk after being bombarded with begging letters, abusive customers and requests for money, we look at how other lottery winners have been affected by this murky side of winning the lottery.

When you win a huge amount of money on the lottery, you are guaranteed several things – one, your life will never be the same again; two, you can live a lifestyle you have only dreamed about and three, you will be hounded by people begging you for money. Whether it is “distant relatives” coming out of the woodwork, complete strangers who are taking a punt on your good nature or even abusive people declaring that you “do not need” all the money, a new millionaire is bound to attract negative attention, as well as positive.

Take for example, Chris and Colin Weir who won £161 million in July 2011; they had so many begging letters simply addressed to “The Weirs, Scotland” that they overloaded their local sorting office, and ended up briefly going into hiding in Spain to avoid the adverse attention. Nigel Page and Justine Laycock, winners of £56 million on the Euromillions in 2010 received letters not only addressed to them, but their local newspaper also received begging letters, with one simply reading, “”Hello Nigel and Justine. Congratulations. We are homeless. My father is cancer patient. Please help me. God bless you.”Deciding who to help and who not to help when you have won millions unexpectedly is undoubtedly one of the hardest aspects of newfound wealth. The Weir’s decided to embrace their fortune by helping as many people as possible (see our previous news article here), but some winners are unable to cope with the decisions they now face. Take Janite Lee, who won $18 million in 1993 and proceeded to generously donate to various political, educational and community causes in the USA – and then filed for bankruptcy after giving away too much. Or the family from the Southeast of the USA who won $4.2 million in the 1990s and generously gifted funds after repeated requests for help from family and friends to pay off debts, and who now have nothing left.

One thing is for certain – new winners must take as much advice from the lottery financial support services as they are offered, and think long and hard about exactly who they donate money to. Winners also should not assume that they can maintain a regular life after going public – which is something sadly the Bayfords’ are now finding out the hard way.