Five lottery winners who lost it all

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Pools winners Vivian and Keith NicholsonWhen people say they feel like they've won the lottery, they generally mean that they are ecstatically happy.

But this unlucky bunch of lottery winners found that great wealth did not in fact bring them happiness, with many losing it all in a matter of years and others ending up in jail.


1. Vivian Nicholson
Vivian Nicholson became a celebrity overnight when she won £152,319 - worth more than £3 million in today's money - on the football pools in 1961 and announced to the press that she was going to "spend, spend, spend".

However, her fortune rapidly dwindled to nothing after the death of her husband Keith (pictured with her) in a car crash in 1965. A musical based on her life, called Spend Spend Spend, later ran in London's West End.

2. William Post
William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million (£10 million) in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988. But he later said he wished it had never happened after being sued by a former girlfriend eager to get her hands on the cash and finding out that his own brother hired a hitman to kill him in the hope of inheriting the winnings.

What's more, he invested in ill-fated family businesses and was $1 million in debt just a year later.

3. Michael Carroll
Michael Carroll won a £9.7m National Lottery jackpot in 2002. Since then he has appeared in court more than 30 times and has spent time in jail for drug-related offences.

By 2008, he had also squandered all but £500,000 of his winnings.

4. John McGuiness
John McGuiness won £10 million on the National Lottery in January 1997. But 11 years later he was more than £2 million in debt, looking for a job and applying for a council house.

Much of his eventual misfortune was due to a disastrous £4 million investment in Scottish football club Livingston FC, although he also gave huge sums to family members.

5. Peter Kyle
Peter Kyle is an ex-soldier who won £5.1 million pounds on the National Lottery in 2005.

Unfortunately, made some bad investments and was virtually destitute after just three years. He ended up bankrupt and living on benefits.

North East is luckiest in Lotto

North East is luckiest in Lotto


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