Corby bus driver wishes he hadn't won lottery


The syndicate at the time of the win

John Noakes, a 50-year-old former bus driver from Corby, has been speaking out about the problems he has faced since winning £3 million on the National Lottery in March last year.

He took a share in £38 million won by a syndicate of bus drivers for Stagecoach (pictured), and life has changed dramatically. However, he said it's not the easy life he expected.


Noakes spoke to the Sunday People. He said that out of the 12 winning bus drivers, four have been forced to leave Corby because of problems associated with their new wealth, and two have left the UK altogether: Noakes is preparing to leave to live in Cyprus.

Among the stresses of being wealthy is having strangers approach him and ask for money. He also struggles to be 'equally fair' to friends and family. He told the newspaper: "The transition from being broke to rich has been tough." He added: "Sometimes I wish I'd never won." He also misses friends he has lost touch with, and going to work.

The plus side

According to the Northampton Chronicle, the 12 drivers all got together and quit their jobs the day after their win. At the time Noakes said: "I'm over the moon. It came at the right time."

Life ever since hasn't all been bad: Noakes and his wife Jean have bought six properties with their win (including one for each of their four children from former marriages). They live in a modern mansion in Corby (complete with tennis court and racing car simulator), and are planning a comfortable life overseas complete with a boat. He has an Aston Martin (albeit a secondhand one).

Sometimes it's hard to have a huge amount of sympathy for people who have won a huge stack of cash. However, Camelot says that winning can be "an overwhelming and emotional experience for many people." Advisers will visit the home of major winners, to provide practical, financial and legal advice.

Camelot adds: "We have a dedicated team of winners' advisers who look after all our major jackpot winners. They remain a source of support and advice for as long as a winner needs – often remaining in touch years after hitting the jackpot."


It goes to show that life isn't all plain-sailing after a lottery win. In fact, some past winners have had some extraordinary bad luck.

As we reported in January this year, there was Urooj Khan, a 46-year-old from Chicago who won £264,000 on the lottery and was killed by cyanide poisoning before he even had a chance to pick up the check.

Then there was Denise Rossi, who won $1.3 million on the California Lottery, but instead of telling her husband about the win, she decided to file for divorce instead. He found out about the win, took her to court, and was awarded every penny by the judge.

And then there's the shocking tale of Jeffrey Dampier, who had an affair with his sister-in-law after winning $20 million on the Illinois lottery in 1996. Unfortunately for him, she used this to hatch a plot to rob him, with the help of her boyfriend. During the robbery they shot and killed Dampier.

It makes being pestered for money, and struggling to be fair, seem like the more palatable downsides of massive wealth.

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