Curse of the lottery? What happened next to four winners

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Andy Lauwers/Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Andy Lauwers/Rex/Shutterstock

The sweetness of winning millions on the lottery can quickly turn sour. The trick is knowing how to spend it, according to some cautionary tales of previous winners.

Related: ‘Surreal’: Gloucester couple celebrate record-breaking £184m lottery win

It does not always end badly, but there have been plenty of stories about the “curse of the lottery”, featuring drug addiction, destitution and prison. Here’s what happened to four previous winners.

Callie Rogers

At 16, Rogers – who worked on a shop checkout in Cumbria – was one of the lottery’s youngest winners when she bagged £1.9m in 2003.

She bought new homes for herself and her mother. But she ended up frittering away the rest of her winnings on parties, plastic surgery and drugs. In 2021 she was reported to be struggling to bring up four children on universal credit.

Michael Carroll

The former refuse worker, who bought his lottery ticket while wearing an electronic tag, called himself the “king of chavs” after he won almost £10m in 2002. He bought a six-bedroom house in Norfolk and £1m of Glasgow Rangers shares. He then paid out £1.4m in a divorce settlement, and later admitted that he thought about only three things – “drugs, sex and gold”. He spent time in jail for affray and was declared bankrupt in 2010.

Michael Carroll in 2006
Michael Carroll in 2006. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian

Lee Ryan

Ryan was one of the first winners, scooping £6.5m weeks after the national lottery was launched in 1994. He spent his winnings on luxury cars, a helicopter and a £2m mansion. He was later jailed for handling stolen cars and spent time sleeping rough in London. He said his jackpot was “cursed”.

Related: ‘Surreal’: Gloucester couple celebrate record-breaking £184m lottery win

Brian Caswell

The grandfather from Bolton won £25m on EuroMillions in 2009 and did not squander it. He bought houses for his daughters and a new allotment. He also set up a charity. He did once hire a private jet for a family holiday, but he still drinks in his local pub. He said: “The reason it makes you happy is what you can do for your grandchildren.”

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