Nigel Page and Justine Laycock of Gloucestershire took home the biggest British win in the European lottery of £56 million on 12 February 2010. Nigel is quoted as saying “I’ve jumped out of a plane at 12000 feet but that’s nothing compared to how I’m feeling now!”
Playing the British National Lottery give players the opportunity to dream about how wonderful their life would become once they win the jackpot. But does it really improve your life?
In 1995 Mark Gardiner won £11 million on the UK lottery draw. He was thrust into the public gaze and then went on to spend and loan out much of the money. He lost many of his family and friends through squabbles over money and says, “The trouble isn’t the money, it’s what the money brings along with it. It enabled me to get rid of a box of problems – but it just gets replaced by a posher box of even bigger problems.”
The challenge winners find is being catapulted from struggling for money one day to being wealthy the next. For this reason Camelot, the promoters of the UK lottery draw, have a support system in place. Dot Renshaw, who must have one of the best jobs in the world as winners advisor for Camelot, told an interviewer that she tells winners not to rush into any decisions but to perhaps take a holiday and come to terms with the change in their lives. Camelot can then arrange for a bank to create an account for the money and a panel of financial advisors and lawyers to give advice on the best ways to proceed. Such large amounts of money require professional advice to manage it.
Staff can even respond to any begging letters on the jackpot winners’ behalf and put them in touch with previous winners who share their experiences. There are even winners events where people in the same situation are encouraged to meet.
Of course one of the biggest challenges found by winners of the UK lottery draw is fame. For this reason, they now have the option of anonymity and the Press Complaints Commission have strict rules to prevent the harassment of those who choose to stay out of the glare of the press.
The advice available now means that British National Lottery winners are making better use of the opportunities presented to them. Ipsos Mori have undertaken a series of polls to understand how such jackpots affect lives. One such study found that 55% of winners were actually happier after the event than before, although this may be more to do with the character of the winners. Nine out of ten of the married respondents were still married to the same person and a same proportion of all winners still had the same friends.
A further poll showed the brand of car bought by UK lottery draw winners and brought some surprises. The first four brands were Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mini and Vauxhall with Range Rover and Porsche only showing at number six and eight respectively.
The UK lottery draw has created 2300 millionaires since its launch in 1994 and clearly the winners now get more counselling than before. This has helped make the experience a much more happy one than previously. Even Mark Gardiner is now happier with his life. After all his experiences, he has fallen back in love with and is now about to remarry his first wife.