Couple refused benefits after blowing lottery win

Jamie and Abbie Hort
Jamie and Abbie Hort

A Guernsey couple is being refused benefits after running through a £50,000 lottery win in eight months.

Jamie and Abbie Hort won £50,000 in the Channel Islands Lottery in December 2014, but say they've spent the lot. They moved out of their bedsit and into a new flat, buying designer clothes, holidays and a 50-inch TV.

When all the money had gone, they couldn't afford their £890-per-month rent, and applied for income support and housing benefit. But this was refused, and they've now been evicted.

"When we first won the money, we were very excited and we helped sort our family out with some money, we went to Jersey shopping and sorted ourselves out with a flat," Mr Hort tells the Sun.

"We had no other income source so the money was going on things like food. Sometimes we were spending £70 a day on food. We were a bit silly with it, it could have lasted a lot longer, I'll admit that."

He says that Social Security, which is responsible for benefits in the Channel Islands, accused him of having half the money left hidden away after the couple was unable to prove what they'd bought.
Mrs Hort now has a job, but says she and her husband have been forced to sell many of their lottery win purchases, especially as the furniture they bought won't fit into their latest home.

"We are not scroungers. We just don't have any money and we think the government should be there to help us," she tells the Daily Mail.

Most people do spend a lottery win wisely and attempt to secure their future. However, the average winner buys five cars and goes on three holidays a year, and some just blow the lot.

In 2014, for example, it was revealed that Lee Ryan, who won £6.5 million in 1995, managed to spend the lot on cars, a helicopter and a £1 million mansion. By 2010 he was penniless and living on the streets.

And Callie Rogers, who became the UK's youngest lottery winner at the age of 16 in 2003, managed to run through £1.9 million in just ten years.

And in a survey carried out this week for financial website, most people say they'd push the boat out a bit if they won.

"When asked the age old question 'what's the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?', almost half of the people we surveyed would travel the world and just one in five would quit their jobs," says editor in chief Hannah Maundrell.

"A further one in five would start their own business. Reassuringly just 1% claimed they would leave their partner, while more predictably 14% claim they would 'spend spend spend'."

Changes to Lotto Rules Explained
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