UK player makes history with £170m jackpot win

Richer than: Daniel Craig ( £128m, left), Adele (£150m, centre) and Gareth Bale (£94m, right). © Getty

Does money bring happiness? Or is it a curse? Next week, a record fortune will land in a person’s bank account and their life will be turned upside down. Past winners have an ominous record.

Seven numbers that changed a life forever. Whose life? We don’t know. They have a right to remain secret. But we do know that they live in the UK.

And, yesterday, the holder of that ticket stepped forward to claim their jackpot.

By doing so, they made history.

They became the UK’s biggest-ever winner. They became richer than Adele, richer than Gareth Bale, richer than Daniel Craig. And that’s without having to sing a note, kick a ball or act a single line.

The odds against them winning were about 1 in 140m. In other words, they were more likely to be killed by a vending machine (1 in 112m), or become the next president of the USA (1 in 10m).

But they did it anyway.

The previous biggest UK winners were Colin and Chris Weir from Largs in North Ayrshire, Scotland, who won £161 million in July 2011. Soon after winning, they divorced.

Adrian and Gillian Bayford, from Suffolk, won more than £148 million in August 2012. They also divorced soon after winning.

Adrian Bayford lives alone in a Suffolk mansion, eating seven Cornish pasties a day, says The Daily Mirror. “He is being mocked and goaded in the street.”

It raises one of the oldest questions in the world: does money bring happiness?

Gold shoulder

No. Certainly not in itself. True happiness comes from having a strong sense of purpose, being clear on your ideal lifestyle, and making work and spending decisions aligned with that vision. Life is far too short to waste time doing things you don’t enjoy.

But that becomes a lot easier with a nice, fat bank balance. Research suggests that having a higher income certainly affects happiness, even if only up to a point. Whatever that point is for you — one study put this at £75,000 a year — will depend on your own situation but beyond it, you won’t be significantly happier.

You Decide

  1. How much money would you like to win in a lottery next week?

Activities

  1. Imagine you just won £10,000. Make a list of how you would spend it.

Some People Say...

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan doth oft lose both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) from Hamlet, when Polonius give his son advice on money management

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
From the moment you realise you’ve won to actually getting the money, winners are looked after every step of the way by a dedicated team of National Lottery “Winner’s Advisors”. It is their job to support winners through the entire process, so they can begin to enjoy their life-changing win.
What do we not know?
What people actually spend their winnings on. The National Lottery says that previous people who have gone public with their wins have chosen to spend their cash on new houses, cars, holidays and on their family and friends. There have been stories of winners, such as one of the UK’s youngest EuroMillions winners Callie Rogers, who lost most of her money very quickly. But “the people who spend the money too quickly are a very, very small percentage”.

Word Watch

Adele
She has now sold more than 100m albums, starting with 19 and its follow-up, 21. The most recent, 25, released in 2015, was the fastest-selling album in UK chart history.
Gareth Bale
This year, Wales’s football star got the number-two spot in the ‘Young Sports Star’ Sunday Times Rich List. With a wealth of £94m, Bale weighs in as wealthier than world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (£49m) and Manchester City golden boy Sergio Aguero (£58m).
Daniel Craig
At 51, he is due to flourish his licence to kill again as James Bond next April. He is by far the highest-earning Bond actor, earning a reported £48m for Spectre, which took £652.4m at the box office, on top of his $3m for Casino Royale, $7m for Quantum of Solace and $17m for Skyfall.
Goaded
To annoy someone to get a reaction from them.
Aligned
Close to; run in parallel with.
Bank balance
Money that’s in the bank.

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