Lottery winner 'spends millions on horses and an arena' for fiancée

£148m lottery winner invests in horses: so why has this investment attracted so much interest?

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Lottery winner Adrian Bayford (pictured above right) has spent more than £2 million on horses and related paraphernalia.

The 44-year-old is said to have splashed out on at least 10 horses - something that his fiancée is said to be passionate about.

The purchases have raised eyebrows among the press, who emphasise the luxury lifestyle that his fiancée Samantha Burbidge has been living since the couple's whirlwind romance last year.

The purchases were splashed in The Sun, which has not had confirmation from the couple, but quoted 'friends' who said he had bought the horses, a number of horse boxes and an equine arena in Norfolk. They said purchases were for his fiancée, who was working as a stable groom when the couple met - and that Bayford had never shown any interest in horses before.

The stories all make reference to the fact that the couple met in January last year, two months after he split from his wife of nine years, Gillian (pictured above with Adrian shortly after their win), and within six weeks he had proposed.

Should we care?

Bayford has a special place in many people's hearts, because he and his wife tried not to let the win change them or alter their lives. He continued running his business after the win, and was said to be devastated when people used it as a way to target him with requests for money - forcing him to shut up shop. Equally there was an outpouring of sympathy in 2013 when the couple announced they were getting a divorce.

There's an argument that whoever Bayford fell for after his divorce, the public would be concerned that she would love him even if he wasn't incredibly wealthy.

There was a similar spate of public eyebrow-raising back in July last year when Burbidge moved into Bayford's mansion, mentioning he fact she is 16-years younger than he is, and that her job as a groom included mucking out stables.

Great investment

But the purchases reported on today reveal no cause for concern. Bayford has half of the second-biggest lottery win of all time - after scooping £148 million in 2012 - so a couple of million would be a drop in the ocean, even if he was wasting it on worthless trinkets.

But he hasn't wasted it: he has invested this money in a business. There's every chance that backing his fiancée could be a fantastic investment that ends up adding to his millions over the years - rather than depleting them. Rather than raising eyebrows, we should be congratulating the couple for keeping their passions and their work ethic alive in the face of such a fortune.

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