Real-life money: National Lottery winners who lost the lot

Many of us dream of seeing our lottery numbers come up. But these five winners famously saw their fortunes disappear.

Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, dramatically resigning from your job and embarking on a life of luxury and adventure.

But it doesn’t always turn out like that. Despite it seeming an almost impossible task, there are a handful of National Lottery winners who have won millions and have blown the lot with little or nothing to show for it.

We take a look at how it all went wrong for five winners.

Michael Carroll

The self-styled “King of Chavs” won £9,736,131 on the National Lottery in November 2002, aged 19. A part-time binman at the time, Carroll initially claimed he wouldn’t spend his money lavishly.

However he went on to give £4 million to friends and family and bought a mansion in Swaffham, Norfolk.

[Read more: November 19, 1994: First National Lottery draw sees seven jackpot winners – but no millionaires]

Carroll spent around £1 million on shares in his beloved Rangers FC and £49,000 on a BMW. He failed to splash out on any car insurance though, or driving lessons, and was banned from driving for six months in 2004.

The “lotto lout” admits wasting millions on cocaine, drink, gambling and prostitutes. He also racked up an impressive charge sheet along the way including an Asbo for terrorising his neighbours and spells in jail for both affray and failing to comply with a drug treatment order.

By February 2010 Carroll was declared bankrupt and was claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Callie Rogers

Callie Rogers was Britain’s youngest lottery winner, pocketing £1.9 million when she was 16 in 2003.

The Cumbrian teenager gave up her job as a £3.60-an-hour Co-op checkout operator and set about spending her money on parties, drugs, designer clothes, cosmetic surgery, and holidays.

[Read more: The UK's luckiest National Lottery areas revealed]

Within a month Rogers, who was in foster care after leaving home when her biological parents split up, had bought a £180,000 bungalow and a £76,000 home for her mum. She met the father of her two eldest children and estimates she spent £250,000 on cocaine during their relationship.

She later described the win as a “curse” which drove her to consider suicide.

Ten years after her win, Rogers had just £2,000 left but said she was happy after finding love and direction in her life.

Roger Griffiths

Roger Griffiths won £1.8 million in 2005. He quit his job as an IT manager and his wife Lara jacked in her job as a teacher. The couple embarked on a spending spree which included a £800,000 barn conversion in Yorkshire, flash cars, five-star holidays holidays in Dubai, New York and Monaco, and weekend breaks in London’s best hotels.

Wannabe rock star Griffiths also spent £25,000 making a record with his old band from Lancaster University.

The couple invested in property and a beauty salon but the housing crash saw the value of their portfolio plummet.

By 2013 the money had gone and the couple had split up, each blaming each other for the reversal in their fortunes.

[Read more: How to grow your retirement savings]

John McGuinness

Scottish hospital porter John McGuinness scooped £10 million on the National Lottery in 1997 at a time when he earned just £150 a week and lived with his parents.

It didn’t take him long to set about spending it, giving £3 million to his family, £750,000 to his ex-wife, and splashing out on cars, holidays and a £200,000 wedding to his second wife.

However it was his £4 million investment in Livingston Football Club that saw him go from riches to rags. The club later went into administration and, as McGuinness had used his wealth to guarantee the club’s loans, he was liable for its debts.

Naivety, rather than greed, appeared to have been McGuinness’s downfall. He claims he was misled about his football club investment and a bitter legal battle followed – he lost and was forced to sell property to cover his costs.

By 2009 McGuinness was a virtual recluse with barely enough money for food.

John Roberts

Former security guard John Roberts scooped £3.1 million in 1998, and managed to lose it all in record time.

The Scot blames his friends for persuading him to make some terrible investments. These included buying a pub – but it turned out his name was never on the deeds.

Roberts ended up £20,000 in debt and living in a caravan.

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