'Send me to the jungle', lottery winner pleads

But I'm A Celeb producers say no

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Mark Gardiner

Lottery winner Mark Gardiner has almost all he could wish for. But this week, he will be watching ITV's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! with a certain sadness - because the show won't let him take part.

According to The Sun, he's been begging the show's producers to sign up up for years.

"You can't take money or possessions with yo,u and I've only one wish left - to be on I'm A Celebrity and money can't buy that. I've spoken to ITV on several occasions," he says.

"It's nothing to do with money or fame. I'm just one of these people who sits yelling at the TV saying, 'Just eat it you big wuss - it's only a spider'."

Back in 1995, Mark, now 52, and his business partner Paul Maddison won £22,590,82. Since then, he's spent £2 million doing up his house and has bought a football club, a yacht, a fleet of Aston Martins and a holiday home in Barbados.

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But his love life has been tempestuous since then - he split up with his fourth wife, later remarrying his first - and he's failed to achieve this last remaining ambition.

""ITV hasn't said no, but they said my profile isn't high enough, which I disagree with - there aren't many places I go where people don't recognise me," he says.

"I think for the times around the campfire I would have a lot to say. I haven't got anywhere yet but I'm not giving up."

He's not the only lottery winner to get a taste for fame. In 2008, 19-year-old Jonathan Vargas from Florida spent a large part of his $35.5 million Powerball win on founding a wrestling business, Wrestilicious, featuring half-dressed women. He landed a TV deal - but it lasted only one season, and the business subsequently closed.

Contrary to popular belief, however, it seems that money does, generally, make you happy. A 2006 study in the Journal of Health Economics revealed that, on average, British lottery winners go on to demonstrate greatly improved general mental well-being - so you might want to carry on buying that ticket.

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