What are the UK’s biggest Euromillions winners up to now? As record £176m is up for grabs tonight
For some, winning the Euromillions jackpot has become a curse. Tonight, the biggest ever prize is up for grabs – a massive £176 million is on offer.
The largest prize previous to tonight’s draw was £170 million, which was bagged by an anonymous winner in October 2019.
There has been a string of big UK winners with some splashing out on mansions, cars and a luxurious lifestyle.
Whilst some have used their winnings for good, others have suffered and fallen victim to the ‘lottery curse’ – with scandals, financial feuds, robberies and tragedy.
Here’s what happened to some of the UK’s biggest EuroMillions winners…
Colin and Chris Weir – £161m
Colin and Chris Weir won £161million on the EuroMillions in 2011 – making them the 22nd richest people in Scotland and propelling them onto the Sunday Times Rich List.
They splashed out on a stunning mansion and their humble first buys included a checked sports jacket, a computer and a tractor.
The Scottish couple initially bought Knock House near Largs, but they sold their mansion in favour of an even bigger pad in Troon. They donated much of their money and set up The Weir Charitable Trust in 2013.
In April 2019, the pair announced they were divorcing. They had been married for 38 years before being hit by the lottery curse and shared two grown-up children, Carly and Jamie.
Just three months later, Colin tragically died of kidney failure and sepsis aged 72.
Adrian and Gillian Bayford – £148m
Adrian and Gillian Bayford from Suffolk have also suffered the lotto curse.
The couple won £148million on the EuroMillions in 2012 but split just 15 months afterwards.
In June 2016, Adrian went back to work after he claimed he was getting “bored” at his £6million country mansion.
He used part of the fortune to set up his own music business and open a shop featuring the world’s largest collection of Lady Gaga memorabilia
After moving on with a new, younger girlfriend, Adrian suffered more heartbreak in February 2017 when she left him and his home was raided in a £100,000 burglary, all in the space of a few weeks.
And in June 2018, he was dumped by his latest girlfriend, Lisa Kemp.
His £6.5m mansion with 189 acres and a pool is now being sold because close friends say it has too many memories of pals betraying him. While a buyer was lined up last year, it was reported the sale fell through in November.
Gillian has also suffered woes of her own in 2016 as her father publicly blasted her, saying he “only received £1million” from his daughter despite her claims she gave him £20m.
Ian McCulloch said: “Gillian’s whole life is shredded with lies. Her life is a total mess – a fabrication.”
In August 2018, Gillian married convicted fraudster Brian Deans.
However, she was hauled into court in 2019 after being accused of attacking an ex-lover, Gavin Innes, in 2017.
The trial was eventually scrapped when she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of threatening and abusive behaviour.
Frances and Patrick Connolly – £115m
One lucky ticket scooped the £114.9million New Year’s Day EuroMillions jackpot in 2019.
Frances and Patrick Connolly, from County Armagh in Northern Ireland, celebrated the (extremely) lucky dip win with a cup of tea, after first thinking it was a scam.
Their exact prize pot was £114,969,755.70 shooting the couple towards the upper-half of lottery winners in the country.
The generous pair – a retired teacher and businessman – said one of the first things they did was sit down and write a list of 50 people they want to share the money with.
They then bought computers for children stuck at home who had no means of accessing an education during Covid lockdown.
Patrick’s plans were to retire from his work in manufacturing, shower his wife with gifts, buy a Jaguar and take a trip to the Maldives.
And the pair proved the most generous of all winners when it was revealed last year they’d given away more than half of their cash to loved ones, charity and those in need during the pandemic.
Mrs Connolly described the last two years as an “absolutely manic whirlwind and a total, total joyride from start to finish”, according to the BBC.
The Davies Family – £61m
In 2016, the Davies family won £61million on the EuroMillions.
Stephanie Davies, then 23, reluctantly bought a ticket after mum Sonia phoned from Florida and begged her to buy one.
Sonia was in the US having vital keyhole surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from the parathyroid glands in her neck, and had a feeling she would go on a winning streak after the op was a success.
But even this happy family couldn’t avoid controversy as it was reported father of the family Keith would share his cash with his daughters with ex Mandy – but his wife’s son was allegedly snubbed.
Keith’s partner Sonia’s estranged son Spencer Pugh claimed he would not see a penny of the £61million EuroMillions win.
Bev Doran – £14m
Bev Doran won £14million on the EuroMillions in 2017.
But she struggled with the life-changing sum as she feared her ex would launch legal action to get his hands on a share of her £14.5million EuroMillions jackpot.
The single mum-of-four had split from Sean Priestley just seven months before her win, after 12 years and three kids together.
Pals explained how she was seeking legal advice amid concerns skint Sean would try to mount a case to stake a claim on her new-found riches.
One said: “He doesn’t deserve a single penny of it. She’s getting advice at the moment and that’s one area she’s looking at.”
Another said: “He should have stuck around a bit longer if he wanted some of the money. More fool him if he’s stupid enough to try.
“If it was me I’d tell him to f*** off. It’s not his money. It’s for her and her kids. She’ll get advice and deal with it.”
Jane Park – £1m
Britain’s youngest lottery winner, Jane Park, received £1million from EuroMillions, but despite winning the least on our list, she made the biggest splurge.
Just 17 at the time, she treated herself to cars, holidays, clothes and plastic surgery.
It was miles away from her £8-an-hour job as an admin temp and the two-bedroom council flat she shared with her mum Linda before her win.
But she said that winning has been a nightmare and that being a millionaire is stressful.
“I have material things but apart from that my life is empty. What is my purpose in life?” she told the Sunday People.
“I thought it would make [my life] ten times better but it’s made it ten times worse.
“I wish I had no money most days. I say to myself, ‘My life would be so much easier if I hadn’t won’.”
Jane, who has spent more than £50,000 on plastic surgery since she won the jackpot, said: “I’m in absolute agony, I know the saying is pain is beauty, but this is horrific.”
Dave and Angela Dawes – £101m
Dave and Angela Dawes couldn’t believe their luck when they scooped £101,203,600.
And shift supervisor Dave and his charity volunteer wife Angela, from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, ensured they shared the love with their nearest and dearest.
The pair are reported to have handed out £30million to their family and closest friends, while also setting up a charity.
Treating themselves, the pair bought a £4 million home, Socknersh Manor, in Burwash, East Sussex – previously owned by the likes of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck.
However, they went through hell last year when they were tied up and robbed by a gang at their luxury home.
The robbers fled with jewellery and around £20,000 cash in the couple’s Range Rover. They later beefed up security at their home to protect themselves.
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