Lottery winner finally splashes out after 16 years


David Ashcroft

David Ashcroft, a 46-year-old furniture restorer from Liverpool, has splashed out, 16 years after winning £12.6 million on the National Lottery (he is pictured at the time of his win). According to reports he still lives with his parents in a modest terraced property in Liverpool, and still restores furniture for a living, but now he has finally dipped into his fortune.

So what has he bought, and does he have the answer to being a happy lottery millionaire?


According to The Daily Mail, Ashcroft has bought double-glazing for his parents' home. It's hardly exactly the kind of lottery-winning spending most people would imagine, but Ashcroft is not most people.

The Daily Telegraph reported that previously he has bought a new 4x4 for his parents, a Ferrari for another relative, and a new work van and a caravan for himself. The only frivolity he has invested in is a personalised number plate.

He has invested in a small property portfolio, too, which is worth less than £250,000, and he continues to work in a small workshop near his home, indulging his passion for furniture restoration.

So does he have the answer to being a happy lottery winner?

A study in 2008 in Santa Barbara, California, discovered that winning the lottery doesn't automatically make you happy. Some six months after a lottery win, people were exactly as happy as before they had the money. A research paper back in the 1970s concluded that it was because people expected more, so took less joy out of the smaller things in life.

Sticking with your old life, without any money worries, may therefore be the answer.

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Ashcroft is clearly one of the most careful winners so far, but there have been a handful of other winners who have been keen to be cautious.

Charlie Gillion, a 64-year-old ex-bus driver from Corby, who won £3.1 million on the Euromillions in 2012 splashed out - buying his council house for £100,000. In the months after the win he said this was his only extravagance: he still drove the same car, shopped at Asda and hadn't been away to celebrate the win. He had given some of the money away to family.

In October last year 80-year-old Thomas Foden and his 60-year-old daughter won almost £4 million on the lottery. In May he made his first purchase, a two-bedroom bungalow round the corner from his old council house. He said at the time that as long as he could have his meals and go to the pub he was happy.

Clearly they are happy, and there's an argument that there's a more long-lasting sense of happiness than the list of winners who have blown the lot. Michael Carroll is most famous for having done this - burning through £9.7 million in eight years and going back to claiming benefits. Then there was Callie Rogers from Cumbria, who won £1.9 million in 2003 and was down to £30,000 before she had time to wonder where it had all gone.

However, there are some winners who admirably combine being careful with living the kind of lives that only lottery-winners can do. Take Chris and Colin Weir. They won £161 million, and after sharing the money with the people and causes close to their hearts, they set up the Weir Charitable Trust dedicated to improving the quality of life in Scotland. They take applications to fund health, sport, cultural, recreational and animal welfare projects.

It seems more rewarding that simply sitting on it, and offers more long-lasting rewards that taking a 'spend, spend, spend' attitude. But what do you think? What's the secret to happiness after a lottery win?

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