British Retiree Lottery Winner Spent £80K Prize, Says He is Now Living in Poverty 

A British granddad with long-term health problems won £80,000 (US $100K) on the UK’s National Lottery in 2017. However, he says that win has since turned his life into a nightmare. 

Daniel Millar (pictured) is 63 and lives in Motherwell, Scotland, with his wife, Bridget. The couple spent the £80K in just over a year, only to then be told that their benefits, or Social Security payments, were being stopped because of his windfall.

Millar, who previously worked as a security contractor, is considered disabled and unable to work. His wife, Bridget, is his full-time caregiver. 

He now says he and his wife are living in poverty. Between them, they have an income of around £600 a month. 

“The money was all spent by November. In December, I got a letter from the DWP saying I had to go to an appointment. They then told me I had been reported by the tax office for having £80,000 in my bank,” Millar said. 

“That was true in September, but not when I went for the interview. I was £7 overdrawn. Now they have stopped my benefits.”

The Jackpot Spending 

When they hit the $80K jackpot in September 2017, the couple went on to spend the money over twelve months. They went on a luxury cruise to the Mediterranean island Benidorm, extended and renovated their house, and gave money away to close family members. 

By December 2018, the cash was all gone, Millar told reporters. However, that month, the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) sent him a letter to say the family’s social payments were being cut due to their unexpected financial change.

“It’s a nightmare. I don’t know what I can do and I don’t know where to turn,” Millar said, speaking to British newspaper the Daily Mirror.

“I didn’t know I had to tell the Department for Work and Pensions, so I spent it all by giving it to my two sons and my daughter, paid two family holidays, did up my house, and bought clothes for me and my wife.”

Millar’s state pension fell by 95% to £1.08 ($1.36) and he stopped getting local tax and income tax reductions. That cut his private pension, and his wife’s carer’s allowance, to a total of just £62 ($77) a week. 

The UK, like much of the western world, is grappling with increased cost of living and inflation. Millar says the money he is getting is barely enough to cover rent, tax, and bills. 

“We’re being punished for having a bit of luck,” his wife told reporters.

Lottery wins causing more trouble than winners may have anticipated is fairly common across the world.

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