Tragic lottery-winning couples whose newfound millions tore them apart

Few of us would ever doubt that winning the lottery is a life-changing moment.

In the blink of an eye, you can go from rags to riches and start enjoying the high-life.

And pocketing those millions won't only have a huge impact on your own life, but on the lives of those around you.

Suddenly you can afford to look after mum and dad, buy your sibling that dream motor and of course treat your other half to anything they want.

But after hitting the big time, not all couples are able to keep their promise of 'for richer, for poorer'.

Here the Daily Star takes a look at the couples who were torn apart by their winnings — let it be a warning to you if you're thinking of picking up a ticket.

Roger and Lara Griffiths

In October 2005, Roger Griffiths and his wife Lara scooped an enviable £1.83 million on the National Lottery.

The night they won, they celebrated with a takeaway curry washed down by Camelot champagne.

Within weeks, Roger had bought an £18,000 soft-top Audi, and Lara had booked them a trip to Dubai, flying business class and staying in a five-star hotel.

"We must have spent £15,000 in ten days," Roger said.

"She liked handbags, she liked shopping. She spent a lot of time at Louis Vuitton."

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Roger also had his teeth whitened, bought designer clothes ‘to look cooler’, and spent £300 a time on Botox, and more than £500 on tattoos — including the word ‘Lara’ on his bicep.

He reunited the band he had played in as a student at Lancaster University and hired a £1,000-a-month publicist in an attempt to hit the big time.

Though the band recorded only one single, it cost Roger £25,000 and the single sold only 600 copies when it was released in September 2006.

Roger's ambition was to turn "£1.8 million into £5 million" and he restyled himself as a property developer — despite having no experience.

The housing crash saw the couple’s investment properties plummet in value and the failure of their businesses took its toll on Roger and Lara’s 14-year marriage.

"We’d row about anything," Roger said.

Lara accused Roger of being unfaithful after finding an email in which he asked for another woman’s phone number — a claim he strongly denies.

"She went absolutely ballistic," Roger told the Daily Mail.

"It was the catalyst for me to think: 'I really don’t want to be in this relationship any more.'"

Jason and Victoria Jones

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Jason and Victoria Jones had been married for only a month when they bought their winning ticket with the last pound coin in her purse – and scooped a whopping £2.3million.

Despite building an impressive property business with their win, Victoria claims it is "one of the worst things that's ever happened to me."

She added: "The stress it gives you in life and even 12 years down the line, I’m still classed as a lottery winner and it’s horrible. It ruins your life. People treat you differently – it’s just not a nice thing."

The couple bought their own luxury home, a £70,000 sports car and started up an impressive property portfolio in Devizes, Wiltshire — but eventually they too fell victim to the "lottery curse".

Victoria struck up a relationship with tycoon Mike Clare, who sold bed retailer Dreams for £222 million in 2008.

“I am seeing Victoria Jones," the businessman confirmed in 2016.

"She didn’t leave her husband for me. We’re not living together, I’m quite friendly with my wife Carol.

"I haven’t just seen Victoria. Everyone knows I’ve seen different girls and my wife is aware.”

Adrian and Gillian Bayford

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Former postman Adrian Bayford won £148 million on the EuroMillions but just 15 months after the jackpot win, wife Gillian, 46, divorced him.

She said their eight-year marriage had broken down "irretrievably", and moved to Scotland with their two children.

In November 2019 it was reported that he decided to leave his Suffolk estate, valued at £10million, and moved into a four-bedroom house in Dundee which is near to his ex-wife.

A Sun source said: “Adrian and Gillian might have divorced but he never really let go.

“He’s got such a big heart it’s a surprise it’s taken him this long to move.”

Pals previously claimed Adrian was spending part of his new-found fortune eating around 50 pasties a week.

A friend said: "He loves Cornwall and says the pasties remind him of it. He gets them delivered – it must be 50 or 60 at a time.

"He's been having five to seven a day."

Colin and Christine Weir

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Britain's biggest lottery winners Colin and Christine Weir took home a huge £161million EuroMillions jackpot – and burned through the fortune at a rate of almost £100,000 a week.

Colin, a retired cameraman, and Christine, a former nurse, became the 22nd richest people in Scotland after their win.

They splashed out money on property including £850,000 on Knock House, a four-bedroom home on the outskirts of Largs surrounded by 23 acres of land.

After refurbishing it they put it on the market in 2016 for £795,000.

But Colin and Christine brought to an end 38 years of marriage after the lottery winnings saw them drift apart.

The couple were said to have been living apart for almost a year before their split – eight years after their mammoth win.

A statement issued on behalf of the couple at the time of their divorce in April 2019 said: “They are applying for divorce amicably.”

Colin died in 2019 at the age of 71.

Gareth and Catherine Bull

Gareth and Catherine Bull, from Nottinghamshire, landed a staggering £40.6 million EuroMillions jackpot in 2012.

But Catherine, 40, was pictured in 2017 without her wedding ring and the pair even unfriended each other on Facebook, according to the Sun.

A source told the paper: “The marriage has been doomed for some time.

“To be fair, it wasn’t the greatest when they hit the jackpot. They felt the massive win may help improve matters.

“But the curse of the Lottery has struck yet again.”

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