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Lottery expert's warning over most common way winners spend their millions


A LOTTERY expert has warned players of a “big mistake” winners make as they waste their millions.

Andy Carter has seen more than £2billion handed away in jackpots to lucky punters – and how they’ve lost it all.

Andy Carter, Senior Winners’ Advisor at The National Lottery, has warned potential winners of one thing


Andy Carter, Senior Winners’ Advisor at The National Lottery, has warned potential winners of one thingCredit: PA

Now, the National Lottery advisor has issued a stark warning to those who land the life-changing prizes.

The expert revealed how one of the biggest mistakes he sees is winners being too generous with their windfall.

“Winners want to help everyone out and this generosity comes from a good place,” he told ThisIsMoney.

“But people should work out what they need first.

“For example, if they have children under 30 and want to help them out with a house purchase, can they afford to do that and give up work themselves?”

One lottery winner ended up giving away £60million of her £115million windfall.

Frances Connolly is considered one of the most generous players after hitting the EuroMillions jackpot in 2019.

The player gifted her cash to friends, family and charities – setting up two foundations herself.

On the other hand, Andy previously told how one man kept his big win secret from his own wife.

The man withheld the information from his partner of over 30-years because “our money is separate”, he told Andy.

Top UK Lottery Jackpot Winners – Dreams Come True!

The winner also admitted that the couple didn’t even know how much the other earned.

Andy explained how hitting a jackpot “makes people happier” but “it can take a while to get there”.

He told how usually lottery wins only exaggerate people’s current nature.

This means those who were good at managing their money beforehand, they usually cope well after.

But, those who struggled or were in bad relationships, will probably see their cash and partnerships dwindle quickly.

Four People Who Won Big & Lost It All

Mark is not the first lottery winner to have suffered huge downfalls after hitting the jackpot…

Callie Rogers

  • She became Britain’s youngest lottery winner when she won £1.9million in 2003.
  • Eighteen years after her win, Callie was found to be claiming Universal Credit after blowing her fortune. The revelation came during a trial after she was involved in a car crash while on cocaine in December 2020.

Michael Carroll

  • The self-styled ‘King of Chavs’ was 19 when he scooped £9,736,131 on the National Lottery in November 2002.
  • Carroll’s wife, Sandra, left him just a month after their wedding in 2003 after being appalled by his incessant partying, accusing him of cheating on her with sex workers.
  • He also racked up an ASBO for terrorising his neighbours and spent time in jail for affray and failing to comply with a drug treatment order.
  • By February 2010 Michael was declared bankrupt and was claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • He lost his entire fortune and was found working for £10 an hour chopping wood and delivering coal in 2019.

Gillian and Adrian Bayford

  • The couple’s lives changed in 2012 when they scooped a staggering £148million.
  • But just 15 months after the win, their eight-year marriage ended with both parties partly blaming stress on their mind-boggling win.
  • Gillian is now with fraudster Brian Deans, who was jailed for six months in 2012 after he stole £13,500 in fake refunds from Tesco.

Margaret Loughrey 

  • She scooped £27m in 2013 and became Northern Ireland’s biggest winner at the time.
  • Tragically, in September 2021, Margaret, by now in her 50s, was found dead in her home.

“It’s part of life — the Lottery just exaggerates it,” said Andy.

The National Lottery advisor also thinks younger people tend to be more savvy savers.

He said the under 30s tend to be more “financially cautious and switched on”.

Andy highlighted how they usually have someone older offering them advise, such as a parent.

“The people who deal with it best are those who talk to friends and family about it,” he explained.

Women prove to be better at handling huge wins too, according to Andy.

He thinks this is because they can process the emotion better which helps deal with the shock.

To help winners cope with their new influx of cash, the lotto advisor will set up meetings with financial experts.

“The experts look at your whole life picture and make a plan, then winners can work out how much they can afford to help others,” he explained.

Winners are then introduced to a solicitor, who will talk them through how to gift their money.

Despite several famous lotto louts, Andy admitted not many jackpot scoopers actually go wild with their cash.

“People being ridiculous with their money is really rare,” he said.

“I’d describe around 98 per cent of our winners as very cautious with their new wealth.”

The advisor added that most winners look to invest their win so they can continue to live off it.

The majority splurge on a few luxury experiences such as lavish holidays and expensive days out.


  • Australia – 25%
  • Disney World Florida – 16%
  • The Northern Lights in Iceland – 8%
  • Safari Experience in South Africa – 8%
  • Spain – 8%
  • Mexico – 4%
  • Vegas – 4%
  • Holland – 4%
  • Lapland – 4%
  • Dubai – 4%
  • Italy – 4%
  • Japan – 4%

A couple who scooped £1million on a scratchcard claim they still budget and their life hasn’t changed.

Emma and Phil Wildin, from Cinderford, in Gloucestershire, were stunned when they discovered their massive windfall, but didn’t splash the cash how many expected.

In fact, there are many who don’t even move house – or quit their job.

Elaine Thompson scooped an eye-watering £2.7million on the lottery – but still gets up in the middle of the night to stack shelves at M&S.

She even kept it up working 2am shifts throughout the pandemic -even though she’s asthmatic and vulnerable.

And, Karen Dakin got a great Mother’s Day gift this year – when her lottery numbers came up and she won £1million.

But despite her newfound riches, the 53-year-old says she has no intention of ditching her day job as a dinner lady.

Another lucky lady looking to set an example to kids is Ruth Breen – who still works as a midwife after winning £1million.

The 41-year-old mum from Wigan made her fortune on the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle in 2014, but her love of her job has kept her delivering babies since.

“I don’t often find people go from a two-bedroom house to an eight-bedroom house, even if they win £100 million,” said Andy.

“They tend to go from a two-bed to a four-bed house first.

“Winners are very quick to tell us they’ll still shop in the supermarket they used to shop in. What they’re actually saying is “my values aren’t changing”. They’re quick to remind us that they are just normal even after a win. I think it’s a natural defence mechanism.”

Andy’s top savvy spenders

LOTTO worker Andy Carter calls up newly made millionaires to advise them on how to spend their cash.

The senior winner’s adviser at The National Lottery revealed the people who know how to manage their fortune best.

  • Women cope best. He said women “come to terms with it quicker” as they are more open with their emotions.
  • Younger are savvy savers. Under-30s are very “financially cautious and switched on”.
  • Family and friends are the best advisers. People who talk to family and friends about their wealth deal with it best.
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