Homeless man wins £1.7m on lottery

Homeless man Laszlo Andraschek wins lottery

Laszlo Andraschek had been living on the streets, after debt and unemployment drove him out of his home. However, the 55-year old from Gyor in north-west Hungary, had a few pennies in his pocket, and in an act of hopeless optimism he bought a lottery ticket.

Now he's one of Hungary's biggest lottery winners. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Andraschek kept his winnings quiet after hitting the jackpot in September last year. However, after making a major donation to a homeless shelter he has hit the headlines.

He told The Guardian that he had been on his way to Budapest for a workshop for recovering alcoholics, and while he was at the railway station he decided to spend his last coins on a lottery ticket.

When his numbers came up he told the newspaper that his first move was to pay his debts and those of his relatives. Then he bought a home for each of his three children - and a car. He is also planning to travel to Italy.

The Metro reported that the recovering alcoholic has said he will be careful with the money, and plans to use it to help addicts and abused women.

From homeless to wealthy

He's not the first person to win a life-changing sum when they are down to their last pennies.

In 2000 a man from Southend-on-Sea won £250,000 on the National Lottery. He was struggling financially and spent some time living in his car before he saved up enough money to rent a bedsit. He'd had the ticket for six months before he finally checked it and realised that he'd won the money. He said he planned to pay his debts, and buy a house and a car.

The majority of people in this situation say they won't go crazy, but will pay their debts, take care of their family and buy a home - like the homeless former builder who won the lottery in South Carolina in 2012.

However, there are some more unusual stories. There was Dennis Mahurin, who has lived in a tent in Illinois since 1978 and when he won $50,000 on a lottery scratchcard last year said he didn't intend to move - although he might upgrade to a better tent.

In 2007 Wayne D. Johnson, a homeless man from Hartford in the US, found a lost lottery ticket, and won $100,000. He donated $5,000 to a homeless shelter that had helped him and $50,000 to the nuns that ran it. He also started volunteering at the shelter.

In 1989 in France a homeless man won 70,000 francs and was told he needed a bank account to put the money in. He remembered he had an old account and told the lottery officials about it - at which point they discovered that he already had more than 200,000 francs in the account that he'd forgotten about.

However, for some people the transformation works the other way around. Michael Carroll, the lottery winner who referred to himself as 'King of Chavs' after winning the money in 2002, lost it all through reckless spending. Since then he has gone through many ups and downs, and in January this year was reportedly living in a hostel for the homeless in Inverness.

10 wealthiest small towns in the UK
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Homeless man wins £1.7m on lottery

Windsor is top of the tables for the UK's wealthiest towns and villages, according to research published by WealthInsight. The Berkshire town is home to 850 dollar millionaires (people with assets of more than US$1m, or £653,424)


Weybridge is second in England with a population of 19,500 and 800 to 850 millionaires.

Sevenoaks has a population of 18,500 and between 800 to 850 millionaires.

Andrew Amolis, analyst at WealthInsight said Beaconsfield's position, at number four, was "unsurprising." "It has the highest average house price outside of London (over US$750,000 per home). It also has the highest average income per household of US$110,000."

Henley-on-Thames, at number five on the list, is the town where numbers of millionaires is growing fastest, the research suggests. The number of so-called high net worth individuals increased by 25% between 2007 and 2012. "This compares very well with general UK millionaire numbers which declined by 9% over that period," said Andrew Amolis, analyst at WealthInsight.

Marlow just missed out on a top five rank with 14,000 inhabitants and between 350 and 400 millionaires in residence.

Hale is the highest-rated town closest to Manchester with a population of 15,300 and between 300 and 350 millionaires.

"Alderley Edge is considered to be the most affluent town in the North West, particularly Whitebarn Road which is one of the most expensive streets in the UK," said Andrew Amolis, analyst at WealthInsight.

Bray is number nine on the list and is home to Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant. Bray has a population of 4,600 and counts more than 300 millionaires among its residents.

Ascot finishes tenth in the list with a population of 11,600 and between 250 to 300 millionaires.


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