Lottery winner shuts shop to flee begging letters


The BayfordsSean Dempsey/PA Wire

Adrian Bayford, who won an astonishing £148m on the Euromillions with his wife Gillian, has had to shut up the music shop he owns, because people targeted it with requests for money.

So why did this have to happen, and is this common?

Shut up

The Cambridge News reported that the shop, Suffolk Music Centre in Haverhill, closed for good on December 31st, after launching a closing down sale at the beginning of the month. A sign on the window said that Bayford plans to start a new business, selling and repairing musical instruments.

At the time of the win back in August, the couple said they would continue to operate the shop, which they owned with a business partner, because despite winning the second biggest jackpot in British lottery history, they loved the shop.

However, a nearby shop-owner told the Daily Mail that the business was getting less enjoyable, because: "Adrian was getting a lot of grief from people walking in and trying to get cash off him. There are idiots in every town and some of them got nasty when he turned them away. He just does not need that kind of abuse."


The grief they received could be attributed partly to some comments made by Gillian Bayford at the time of the win, when she said: "It is such a large amount that it isn't something for one person. It is something to share with other people, people that need help, people that have helped us and supported us."

She may well have meant her nearest and dearest, and carefully-considered donations to charity - but there were strangers who were hoping to take advantage of their good nature.

Their plans

The couple became the 516th richest in the UK after their win, but have taken their time spending their winnings, and have exercised a great deal of caution before making big changes to their life. They went back to work in the shop four weeks after the win. They reportedly bought a £17,000 Ford Kuga within a couple of months, but took their time finding a new house, before spending a reported £6m on a Grade II-listed Georgian mansion in Suffolk in November.

They have followed expert advice, to continue life as though they hadn't won, and make sure that any big changes happened very slowly. Unfortunately, it seems that this change has been thrust upon the couple because of their fame.


However, they are following a surprisingly common pattern among lottery winners. Initially many continue to work. A report by forecasting consultancy Oxford Economics for the National Lottery last year looked at how lottery wins had changed people's lives. They found that only 59% immediately handed in their notice at work; 19% carried on working, and subsequently 31% gave their time to do unpaid voluntary work.

After the initial shock has worn off, many then make a change. Like the Bayfords, many start a new business. Between the 3,000 millionaires, they had started or supported 900 UK businesses employing 3,195 people.

The difference for the Bayfords, sadly, was that they loved their existing business, but realised they couldn't continue after finding fame.

This isn't always the case, however. There are some people who win the lottery, and life continues as normal, including Luke Pittard, who won £1.3 million on the lottery in 2006 and returned to work at McDonalds in Cardiff 18 months later because he missed his workmates.

So what would you do: keep on working, or retire in style? Let us know in the comments.

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