How Do Lottery and Jackpot Winners Spend Their Money?
Lottery winners will always be something for the rest of us to envy, and so will those who manage to win huge jackpots when playing casino games. The fact that they usually have enough money coming their way to last a lifetime is quite likely to incite jealousy in many of us. However, it’s also something that poses a question at the same time. Many people will wonder what those winners do with their vast wealth once they have possession of it.
How do lottery winners and jackpot victors spend their money? What are the common routes that they take towards handling such large amounts of money? And in fact, are there actually common wants and needs by these people, or is it something different for everyone. Well, that’s what we’re going to look into – the things that jackpot and lottery winners spend their money on. If you would like to know what has been purchased with lottery funds, then we’ve got the information for you.
National Lottery Winners of the Past 25 Years
The UK National Lottery has been around since 1994, and the highest jackpot won from it stands at £161 million, which was won by Colin and Chris Weir from Largs in Scotland. That win made them not only the largest winners in the UK, but the biggest winners in the whole of Europe, too. Of course, various other people have won huge amounts from playing the lottery, and to mark 25 years of operation, the ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot decided to seek some of them out. During that time, he also enquired as to what they did with their winnings.
In 1995, Elaine Thompson from Killingworth near Newcastle was declared a huge winner when she scooped £2,704,666 on December 9. Granted, that would have been a better Christmas gift than anything else she could possibly have received. She didn’t allow it to change her general way of life though, and she still works, stacking shelves at supermarket Marks & Spencer. Having worked there for eight years, Elaine loves her job. The £2 million win she experienced when the lottery was just one year old allowed her and husband Derek to support their family. The money was put towards putting both their children through university and getting them on the property ladder, too.
Deanna Sampson of Sheffield stated that she only had £3.60 in her bank account when she chose to play the lottery in October of 1996. And from such a small amount, her life changed dramatically when she scooped £5,439,681 in prize money. At the time, Deanna was working as a hairdresser and living in a council house. Today, she helps train disability assistance dogs via the Support Dogs charity. The £5 million+ winner made her first purchase upon receiving the cash, splashing out on a new pair of trainers. However, later on, she ended up buying herself an £800,000 yacht as well!
In perhaps one of the more fanatic outcomes, Cheryl Brudenell from Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham ended up winning over £900,000 in 1997. Her win allowed her to indulge in her own passion – the singer, Robbie Williams. Using the money for her advantages, Brudenell opted to travel around to different locations in the world, seeing Williams perform a total of 40 concerts in the process since 2001. She even went on to meet him when visiting Las Vegas for one of his concerts in 2018.
As the millennium hit, the huge winners weren’t far behind. On January 22, 2000 Ray Wragg from Sheffield went on to win £7,649,520. This led to him instantly quitting his job the following morning. Wragg had never left the country with his wife Barbara, who sadly passed away last year, prior to the win. Instead, they usually spent most of their time holidaying in Torquay, going there for 31 consecutive years. After winning the lottery though, the couple went on a cruise – something that Wragg said they both “loved” experiencing. Not only that, but he purchased a Range Rover and proceeded to fill it with Easter eggs which were delivered to a local school in their home city of Sheffield. And in another act of pure kindness, £6 million of their winnings was given to charity, in particular to Sheffield hospitals. A group of World War II veterans were also helped with a trip to honour their fallen comrades in 2003, while 50 other war heroes were able to visit Italy for the 60th anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino in 2004, thanks to the pair’s generosity.
Not everyone is quite as forthcoming with charitable donations though, as a 2001 winner ended up utilising a portion of his £15,528,286 winnings on his family. Tom Naylor from Staffordshire went about swapping his Ford Granada for a plethora of alternative cars first, though. He selected two Aston Martins, three Jaguars, a Ford Mustang and a Land Rover Discovery as his vehicles. Then, he took himself and nine other family members on a £25,000 trip to New York, flying on Concorde to get there and back. That was topped off by them all being chauffeured from the airport in three giant white stretch limos.
Cars Top the List
Speaking of cars, these frequently make the top of the list for items that jackpot winners spend their money on. In fact, one-third of National Lottery millionaires splash out on a new car. On average, around four cars for themselves are bought, with one in 10 also buying 11 or more. One winner even admitted to purchasing 20 cars, and a quarter of the winners remain adamant that the car(s) they bought is their favourite thing purchased from their winnings.
Land Rovers and Range Rovers top the list of most popular type of car, with 16% of winners opting to buy themselves such. However, there are also some much sleeker brands included in the collection of most popular cars for lottery winners, including Audi in second place, Jaguar in third, Mercedes-Benz in fourth and Ford in fifth. The full top 10 is rounded out by the inclusion of BMW, Peugeot, Porsche, Toyota and Vauxhall.
Recent Winners Get on to the Property Ladder in a Big Way
In more recent times, it seems as though big lottery winners haven’t held back on purchasing some quality items. Property remains one of the biggest buys for jackpot victors these days, though. In 2018, plasterer Arron Walshaw from Ossett won £1 million. Despite believing that he had initially been pranked with his big win, it didn’t take him long to put it to good use. Within three weeks, he had gone out and purchased a property with his fiancé Ceri Hall, and just one month after winning the lottery, their second daughter was born. It was due to this that the pair decided to name her Lottie. It may not have ended up that way though, if the person in front of him in the queue hadn’t allowed him to go first. With only a few minutes left before the lottery draw was made for that week, Arron got to the front of the queue thanks to a friendly shopper and got his free lucky dip from the previous draw.
The same process was undertaken by Anne Canavan from Northern Ireland in 2015. She came out as the winner of £1,054,000 in August of that year. Although she still lives in the same four-bedroom house that she owned prior to winning, Ms. Canavan has spent £50,000 on improving it, as well as purchased four additional properties alongside. These, she stated, are investments for herself. Being an inventor by profession, Anne has continued in the same field, with 17 innovations currently being in development. Of course, she also has her five collective properties to her name, too.
And it’s not only properties for living in that some people have opted to buy, either. It was in 2016 that Jamie Heavens of Bournemouth won the lottery, picking up a £1 million victory after buying a scratchcard. Upon obtaining the money, he went ahead and bought himself a business. Prior to that, he was working as a roofer for a family firm. During his shift, he had been sent to refuel a truck and opted to purchase a Millionaire Riches scratchcard from the petrol station, too. Heavens used his winnings to purchase a car breakdown business, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, he set about helping NHS staff for free, should they end up having car trouble. Additionally, he was able to use £25,000 of his big win to pay for his wedding to wife Danielle.
Worldwide Lottery Winners
The UK may have a great National Lottery to participate in, but around the world, lotteries exist for people to partake in. Some of these have spawned huge jackpot winners, with the United States of America boasting a plentiful amount of such. But do they spend their winnings on the same sort of items as UK players do?
Well, if John Kutey’s route is anything to go by, probably not. In 2011, he cashed in a $319 million Mega Millions jackpot for a share of $28.7 million. It was then that he and his wife Linda chose to donate a portion of those winnings towards the construction of a water park! This, they said, was in honour of their parents. Donating $200,000 to construct the Spray Park in Green Island, New York, the pair helped with the reconstruction and expansion of the existing water park.
A Canadian winner, Bob Erb scooped $25 million in 2012, after he bought a ticket at the conclusion of his father’s funeral in Calgary. Erb had been buying tickets for 43 years and never imagined winning so big. Following that victory on the lottery, he opted to continue working and donate his wages from that to a food bank. The one thing that he did do with $1 million of his winnings though, is direct it toward an annual event supporting marijuana legalisation, known as 420 Day.
And here’s one that potentially wouldn’t be expected. Following an $18 million win in the Illinois Lottery in 1993, a wigmaker from South Korea chose to utilise a hefty portion of the money to support the US Democratic Party. This eventually saw her dining with Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and her name was imprinted on the reading room at the Washington University School of Law. Unfortunately, winner Janite Lee became a bit too charitable with her funds, and when coupling this with both gambling and credit card debts, she ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2001. To do so, she had to sell the rights to her annual payment for a lump sum, with estimates suggesting she had less than $700 to her name and $2.5 million in debts.
It seems as though nothing is off-limits to lottery and jackpot winners, regardless of the country that they reside in. From flashy cars and yachts through to charitable donations and gifts to political parties, lotteries can be of a great assistance to many people when big wins come along. Of course, that’s not always the case, as they can hinder others, who either give it away haphazardly or fall victim to spending it all and going bankrupt.
Whatever the case may be, lotteries remain as a great gambling options for people to partake in, as they raise funds for various other things in the process. The UK National Lottery has already funded over 600,000 projects with the funds of people buying tickets to participate in draws, so the likelihood is that it will remain active and functional as long as people continue buying tickets. And in that respect, we’re likely to witness more and more big winners spending their millions on a variety of items.