One anonymous ticket holder won the full £170 million EuroMillions jackpot on Tuesday the 8th of October 2019 making them Britain's richest ever lottery winner so far. Millionaires from previous lottery wins and a lottery winner adviser share their experiences about how to make the most of such a windfall. The first experience is how to get over the initial shock of a huge jackpot win.
Andy Carter is the ‘senior winner's adviser’ at Camelot the lottery operator for EuroMillions in the UK and spends many of his days talking to those people who have won big jackpot amounts. He encourages any big winners to spend some time away from home for a few days to their win sink in. “It's a huge shock,” he says. “If your thing is sitting on a beach, go and sit on a beach” he adds. “If it's climbing mountains, go and do that.”
Essex couple Dean Allen and Louise Collier won £13.8million back in 2000 and flew on holiday to Hawaii immediately after their win. When they got back home they had more money in their bank account than when they left because of the interest they earned while away.
It’s definitely worth thinking things through thoroughly before you start parting with any of your lottery winnings. Norfolk bin man Michael Carroll managed to part with all of his £9.7million prize winnings that he won at age 19 within eight years.
There is the old question that many winners consider, should I stop working? Camelot’s Mr. Carter says winning the lottery “enables you to follow your dream. If you've always wanted to run a cake shop, or be a florist, or train in something, you can” he says.
He went on to say that most lottery winners leave their day job immediately as they know it takes time to adjust to not having to work for a living, similar to a retirement. “We get lots of winners who invest in business, or do charity work and volunteering. People need something to do, a structure, a reason to get up in the morning," he added.
When single mum Susan Herdman won £1.2million in 2010, she barely spent any of her winnings to start with. She said that the £170million jackpot winner is in a completely different league to her much smaller lottery prize. “You hear people say it's too much money. It is if you're going to be greedy with it, but how much fun could you have giving it away?” she said. “When you first win the lottery, it is quite scary in a way,” she added. “I thought 'I don't really want things to change, because my life is pretty good'.”
But after about a year later, Susan says she realised she had been holding back so she sold her hair salon and within a week she moved to Yorkshire to be with her partner Andrew Hornshaw, who is a farmer. Now being free from her job she spends quite a lot of her time raising money for charity and succeeded in raising more than £50,000 for Cancer Research.
Then there is the tricky question you should ask yourself, should I tell my friends about my lottery win? Andy Carter says sharing news of the win “isn't right for everyone” but that if you hide it from close friends it can be stressful. “If it was your friend that won, you'd like them to tell you. And you've got to remember, it's a good thing, it's a nice thing,” he said.
But telling your friends can be difficult too. Jane Restorick was 17 when she became Britain's youngest EuroMillions millionaire. She was previously known as Jane Park and said there was an expectation that she should help her family or friends if they were having money problems which she found rather ‘stressful’.
Carter says Camelot can help to connect with financial advisers and winners so that they can be savvy about how generous to be with gifts. “We would encourage people to give people a little bit (of money) and see what they do with it” he said. “There's no need to give them a huge amount straight away. You can always give them more down the line. And also, talk to recipients of gifts about what would help them. Some people just don't need it, others might want it staggered.”
If I should win a lottery jackpot, how do I decide who to donate money to? Andy Carter says that millionaires have ‘a lot of power’ because they can choose how to improve and influence society with their donations to charity. He said that making a decision like that is all about choosing something ‘close to your heart’.
The winners of the 2011 EuroMillions £161million lottery jackpot, Colin and Chris Weir donated £1million to the SNP independence for Scotland campaign just ahead of the 2014 Scottish referendum and continued donating to the Scottish National Party thereafter. They also set up ‘The Weir Charitable Trust’ in 2013 which has employed people throughout the UK and ‘raised millions’ for their charitable causes said Carter.
Susan Herdman says she donates money often to the NSPCC, the Dogs Trust and to the guide dogs for the blind charity. Dean Allen from Essex says he gave some money to a hospital in London after his father had a heart operation there.
Dean says he and his wife did very well out of their £13.8million win because they sat down together and carefully decided what they wanted to spend their money on. “We thought about what we wanted to do for family and friends, because we had to make sure this lasted us the rest of our lives” he said.
They have balanced out their winnings so well that they have been able to travel the world and provide for their loved ones. Dean's main advice is to take your time in deciding how and where to spend your money. “That £170million is about not just you as a winner, but your family for generations to come. It's about friends, it's about charity. The scale of it is so vast.” The huge network of more than five thousand lottery winners can also be a great source of advice said Dean. “The very best thing you can do is to have a cup of tea with another lottery winner.”