Lottery winner caught dealing drugs after blowing the lot

Nina Hughes, the lottery winner who turned to drug dealing: five winners who lost everything

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Nina Hughes

Nina Hughes, a 43-year-old mum of four and former Lottery winner - from Dover in Kent - has been sentenced for drug dealing. She suffered her share of ups and downs in life, but had a chance to turn things around after winning almost £700,000 on a National Lottery Scratchcard. Unfortunately, her good luck failed to keep her on track, and in the decade since, things have gone from bad to worse.

Hughes won £691,000 in 2005, and Kent Online reported that the win seemed to come at just the right time. A year earlier she was a single mum of four, after a string of unfortunate relationships. She was drinking, and had been made homeless. However, just before winning, she had started college, and her future seemed bright.

Unfortunately, it seems she has now spent the lot, and after becoming chronically addicted to heroin in 2013, she made some poor decisions. Last year she was caught selling heroin and crack cocaine in a police drugs sting.

This week she appeared in court, where she was given a three month curfew and a suspended sentence. Nine others picked up in the sting were jailed. According to The Sun, the judge warned her that her pain was unlikely to be over, as: "You are still hell-bent on a path of self-destruction and are still in the thrall of Class A drugs."

She told the Mirror: "I know, I've led quite a life, it's been crazy. But my family are really upset about everything that's happened."

Lottery winning disasters

1. She is not the first to find a Lottery win doesn't last when you pick up bad habits. Perhaps the most famous riches to rags story is of Michael Carroll, who won £9.7 million in 2002 at the age of 19, spent the lot, and was declared bankrupt. Since then his marriage has failed, he has been jailed twice, and he even slept rough, before moving to Scotland, finding work, giving up drink, and living what he describes as a 'normal life'.

2. Callie Rogers also fell foul of a drug habit. She was Britain's youngest lottery winner when she took home £1.9 million at the age of 16, in 2003. She quickly worked her way through the lot, spending on cosmetic surgery, partying and drugs. In 2013, ten years later, she said she was finally happy - with just £2,000 in the bank.

3. Lee Ryan won £6.5 million on the lottery in 1995, but spent it all. Some of it went on living the high life, but much of it was lost in failed business ventures and property investments - many of which were in Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, where he was living with his second wife. He returned without her, and ended up sleeping rough for two years. But after getting help from friends, by 2014 be was renting a small flat, and said he was happier than he had been as a millionaire.

4. Bad investments were also the undoing of John McGuinness, a 46-year-old former porter who won £10 million in 1997. He invested £4 million in Livingston football club, but the club's finances went from bad to worse, and crashed in 2005. He was personally responsible for the debt, so in the end was forced to declare himself bankrupt.

5. Other winners haven't tried to do anything flash, but been undone by criminals. We reported last year on Stephen Cox, who won over £100,000 on the National Lottery in 2003, and despite spending just £20,000 of it over the following ten years, he was left with nothing after being ripped off by cowboy builders. He told the papers he was now living on benefits.

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