Lottery winner finally splashes out after 16 years

David Ashcroft

David Ashcroft, a 46-year-old furniture restorer from Liverpool, has splashed out, 16 years after winning £12.6 million on the National Lottery (he is pictured at the time of his win). According to reports he still lives with his parents in a modest terraced property in Liverpool, and still restores furniture for a living, but now he has finally dipped into his fortune.

So what has he bought, and does he have the answer to being a happy lottery millionaire?


According to The Daily Mail, Ashcroft has bought double-glazing for his parents' home. It's hardly exactly the kind of lottery-winning spending most people would imagine, but Ashcroft is not most people.

The Daily Telegraph reported that previously he has bought a new 4x4 for his parents, a Ferrari for another relative, and a new work van and a caravan for himself. The only frivolity he has invested in is a personalised number plate.

He has invested in a small property portfolio, too, which is worth less than £250,000, and he continues to work in a small workshop near his home, indulging his passion for furniture restoration.

So does he have the answer to being a happy lottery winner?

A study in 2008 in Santa Barbara, California, discovered that winning the lottery doesn't automatically make you happy. Some six months after a lottery win, people were exactly as happy as before they had the money. A research paper back in the 1970s concluded that it was because people expected more, so took less joy out of the smaller things in life.

Sticking with your old life, without any money worries, may therefore be the answer.

The famous faces of bankruptcy
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Lottery winner finally splashes out after 16 years

In 1895 at the height of his success following the publication of The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest, Wilde was charged with gross indecency and became embroiled in a libel trial to defend himself against accusations of homosexuality. He lost the battle and was forced into bankruptcy to cover legal costs for himself and the accuser, the Marquis of Queensberry – whose son Wilde was allegedly having an affair with. According to, some of Oscar's most prized possessions, including first editions of his own books, were seized and sold at auction to pay the bill.

In a lesson that personal net worth means nothing against spiraling debts, the King of Pop filed for filed for bankruptcy in 2007 when he couldn't repay a $25 million loan on his home, Neverland Ranch.

Despite being recognised as the most successful entertainer of all time by the Guinness Book of World Records, Neverland became Jackson's downfall – reportedly costing more than $10 million dollars a year to maintain. According to, even after signing a nearly $1 billion recording contract in 1991 and selling more than 750 million records, Jackson had just 0.05% of his net worth in accessible cash, which left bankruptcy the only option.

Actress Kim Basinger filed for bankruptcy in 1993 after she was sued for breach of contract for refusing to appear in film Boxing Helena, which later bombed. The actress lost a $8.1 million lawsuit to Main Line Pictures as a result and was forced to sell her $20 million investment in the town of Braselton, Georgia, USA.

When Mozart died at the early age of only 35 in 1791, he was poverty stricken and left vast amount of debt behind, which totaled over 4,000 florins (the equivalent of more than eight times the annual salary of a middle-class government employee, according to Reports prevail that there was such little money in the house at the time of his death that Mozart was buried in a mass grave, the exact location of which is unknown to this day.

Everyone's favourite crooner filed for bankruptcy in 1976 after the royalties from his next album were promised to his ex-wife as a substitute for maintenance payments. The album was titled "Here, My Dear."

Despite creating one of the best-selling albums of all-time with Bat out of hell, Meat Loaf had to file for bankruptcy in 1983, after a series of bad business deals and legal issues. The rock star fell victim to unscrupulous managers, who he discovered were stealing his money – only for them then to sue him for breach of contract. Just when it looked like his luck was improving ahead of the release of his album Blind Before I Stop – the producer put a dance beat on every track, alienating his rock fanbase, making the album a failure and forcing him into bankruptcy for a second time.

Just when things couldn't get any worse for ex-Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona, she's been made bankrupt twice in five years.

The first was in 2008 after failing to deliver the final £82,000 of a £417,000 tax bill.

She was in the press for money issues again this earlier this year when a a TV advert for pay day loans fronted by Katona was banned for being irresponsible. Cash Lady offers loans of up to £300 a month with an annual percentage rate of 2,760%. "We've all had money troubles at some point, I know I have," says Katona in the TV ad. "You could see your bank and fill in loads of forms, but is there an easier way to get a loan ... it's dead fast too. Fast cash for fast lives."

However, Katona was dropped as the face of a payday lending company after filing for bankruptcy for a second time.

She filed for bankruptcy at Wigan County Court in July 2013, the Insolvency Service confirmed.

Disney's fist animation company Laugh-O-Gram Studio filed for bankruptcy in 1922 when its financial baker went broke. Disney was no longer able to pay his employees or his debts, and according to, even struggled to buy a bus ticket to Hollywood. But he made it and there he made a fresh start with his new self-named production company that remains a worldwide success today.

Despite earning millions during his boxing career, former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2003. He mounted about $27 million in bills, and is said to have squandered nearly $300m in ring earnings through lavish spending and bad advice, according to BBC News. The 37-year-old spent extravagantly on mansions, Bentley cars, jewellery, and even pet Bengal tigers while buying expensive gifts for his large entourage. Also in 2003, Tyson agreed to pay his ex-wife $6.5m from future earnings as part of a divorce settlement.

Drinking, gambling, fast cars and womanizing saw football wonder boy Best squander his cash and succumb to bankruptcy in 1982 with debts of £22,000. According to, at the time of his death in 2006, Best had an outstanding mortgage of £100,000 and owed London's Cromwell hospital £300,000 in treatment fees.



Ashcroft is clearly one of the most careful winners so far, but there have been a handful of other winners who have been keen to be cautious.

Charlie Gillion, a 64-year-old ex-bus driver from Corby, who won £3.1 million on the Euromillions in 2012 splashed out - buying his council house for £100,000. In the months after the win he said this was his only extravagance: he still drove the same car, shopped at Asda and hadn't been away to celebrate the win. He had given some of the money away to family.

In October last year 80-year-old Thomas Foden and his 60-year-old daughter won almost £4 million on the lottery. In May he made his first purchase, a two-bedroom bungalow round the corner from his old council house. He said at the time that as long as he could have his meals and go to the pub he was happy.

Clearly they are happy, and there's an argument that there's a more long-lasting sense of happiness than the list of winners who have blown the lot. Michael Carroll is most famous for having done this - burning through £9.7 million in eight years and going back to claiming benefits. Then there was Callie Rogers from Cumbria, who won £1.9 million in 2003 and was down to £30,000 before she had time to wonder where it had all gone.

However, there are some winners who admirably combine being careful with living the kind of lives that only lottery-winners can do. Take Chris and Colin Weir. They won £161 million, and after sharing the money with the people and causes close to their hearts, they set up the Weir Charitable Trust dedicated to improving the quality of life in Scotland. They take applications to fund health, sport, cultural, recreational and animal welfare projects.

It seems more rewarding that simply sitting on it, and offers more long-lasting rewards that taking a 'spend, spend, spend' attitude. But what do you think? What's the secret to happiness after a lottery win?

Top 10 expensive celebrity mistakes
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Lottery winner finally splashes out after 16 years

The N-Dubz singer was allegedly caught fixing up a drug deal between an undercover Sun reporter and her dealer friend and part-time rapper Mike GLC.

The illegal activity is likely to cost Tulisa dearly as she has cashed in on her youth appeal through the story of her troubled background and claims to have shunned drugs to grow her music career.

The modern day sporting hero and winner of seven consecutive Tour de France competitions saw his reputation plummet last year when he was found guilty of doping and cheating his way through is career.

Armstrong was stripped of all his titles, ordered to return his prize money, and sponsors couldn't drop him quick enough. He is also being sued by teammates. It is estimated that it will cost him $125m.

After possibly one of biggest public meltdowns in history, the actor lost it with the creator of his TV series Two and a Half Men. His outburst together with outlandish behavior including alleged drug benders, porn stars and drink problems, lead to Sheen being fired from the show. He reportedly earned $1.25m per episode, meaning he lost $36m for the whole season.

At the height of her short career, teen star Lohan was commanding around $7.5m per movie at four movies per year. Yet the pressures of fame at a young age got to The Parent Trap and Mean Girls star, seeing her life spiral out of control as she became embroiled in allegations of drug and alcohol abuse, jewellery theft, and drunk driving. Her earnings quickly plummeted and remain he doldrums.

Singer Chris Brown's reputation became muddied in 2009 amid allegations of assault against his then girlfriend, pop diva Rhianna.

The alleged offense took place the night before both stars were set to perform at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Brown's arrest on felony charges and the brutal images of Rhianna's battered face, led to an huge media frenzy. Overnight, Brown went from whiter-than-white Wrigley's gum and milk spokesperson to the most loathed man in music.

Fashions favourite supermodel could do no wrong until she appeared in the Daily Mirror in 2005 snorting "line after line" of cocaine at a recording studio with then-boyfriend and known drug addict, Pete Doherty.

Dubbed 'Cocaine Kate' by the press, Chanel promptly dropped Moss from their advertising, as did fashion house Burberry and Swedish brand H&M. But Moss managed to recover quickly from the scandal and is now the face of Rimmel, Dior and Mango.

Infidelity cost the golf star more than his marriage and a staggering $100 million divorce settlement – shaving brand Gillette was one of many brands to pull its endorsements following the incident in 2009. Woods also lost deals with Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture following the scandal.

Photos of the Olympic swimmer smoking a marijuana pipe saw Kellogg's pull its sponsorship of the sports star to protect their brand images. Phelps also received a suspension from competition and USA Swimming pulled financial support for three months.

Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho was axed from his Coca-Cola sponsorship deal after appearing with a can of Pepsi during a press conference at Atletico Minerio. The mistake cost the star £1 million in unpaid earnings as his £500,000 per-year contract was set to run until 2014.

While serving as president, Bill Clinton became embroiled in an embarrassing high profile scandal that looked set to cost him his career. The former president was accused of having sexual relations with intern Monica Lewinsky and harassment charges against Paula Jones.

Clinton was acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice charges and made a public apology, which only served to strengthen his reputation. He went on to serve two presidency terms and left the office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II.


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