It’s something everyone has thought about at some point and which regular lottery players are constantly contemplating.
When thinking about winning the lottery, the first thoughts which usually spring to mind, are the thoughts of buying a new house, a luxury car or going on holiday to an exotic destination.

However, not all lottery winners share the same dreams.

Living the ‘high’ life

This lotto winner was truly ‘on a high’ when he won CA$25 million (£15.6 million) on Canada’s Lotto Max in 2012.

The aptly named Bob Erb, yes – that’s his real name – is a long-time cannabis activist and former candidate for the British Columbia Marijuana Party, which run a campaign to legalise and decriminalise marijuana.

Erb donated around CA$1 million (£627,260) towards cannabis legalisation, which proved to be a worthy donation as the aromatic herb was legalised in Canada in 2018.

Erb remains an active philanthropist, giving away thousands of dollars and even vehicles, to struggling citizens and businesses in his hometown of Terrace, British Columbia. He has also been one of the biggest benefactors of the 420 Day in Canada, an annual event observed internationally to advocate for marijuana rights.

Breast of luck!

Sarah Cockings from Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, won £3 million on the National Lottery in 2005.

Cockings who was 22 at the time of her lotto win, spent part of her winnings on going back to university as her mum “wanted that picture of me graduating – which she has now on her mantelpiece”. She also bought her parents a house, along with a Mini Cooper and a Range Rover Sport.
Her generosity did not end there, spending almost £10,000 on a boob job for her two sisters.
"I've got a really close-knit family and my win wasn't just for me but also for my family” she affirmed.

She also treated herself to a boob job in 2019 and joked that herself and her sisters get asked in the street “are those the lottery boobs?”

‘Splashing’ the cash

When John and Linda Kutey won $319 million (£259 million) on Mega Millions in 2011, they wanted to do two things, give back to their local community, Green Island, New York, and honour their parents.

After enquiring with the town mayor, the idea was proposed to fund a new water park.

The Kuteys spent $200,000 (£162,530) of their winnings on the park, built in honour of their parents.

For the love of the game

In 2011, Chris and Colin Weir from Largs, Ayshire, won the biggest EuroMillions jackpot at the time, a whopping £161 million, which remains the 10th biggest ever EuroMillions jackpot.
Colin, a retired cameraman, invested £2.5 million in Partick Thistle Football Club, gaining a 55% share in the club which he transferred back to the fans.
He also set up the Thistle Weir Youth Academy, in turn, a section of the Firhill Stadium was named after him.

He also had a £10,000 stake in Irn-Bru, a further £20,000 stake in Greggs, and donated millions towards the cause of Scottish Independence.

Demolition man

The story of Michael Carroll, dubbed the ‘Lotto Lout’ and ‘King of the Chavs’, is one of the most well-known, and possibly the craziest, lottery winner stories ever.

Carroll was just nineteen when he scooped £9.7 million on the National Lottery back in 2002. He had been convicted of shoplifting at age 13 and was working as a part-time binman when he won the lotto.

Less than a decade after his massive win, Carroll was working as a binman again. He then went on to work at a biscuit factory, at a slaughterhouse and currently works as a coalman in Scotland.

Carroll admitted to blowing millions on drugs, booze and prostitutes. He bought a fleet of luxury cars, including a Rolls-Royce and even set up his own demolition derby on the grounds of his mansion.

Despite losing his fortune, Carroll insists he has no regrets: “it was 10 years of fun for a pound, you can’t go wrong with that. I reckon I’m lucky to be alive. If I still had the money, I’d probably be six feet under”.

Just ‘desserts’

It’s quite common for lottery winners to set up trusts and charities, it’s not so common for them to be named after a dessert.

In 2018, 81-year-old Louise White of Newport, Rhode Island, created “The Rainbow Sherbert Trust” after the dessert (a type of ice cream) which she bought just before purchasing the lottery ticket which won her $336.4 million (£273 million) on the Powerball.

The sherbet cost $3 (£2.40) which White purchased along with three ‘quick pick’ tickets. Later that evening, “while the family enjoyed the rainbow sherbet”, White copied down the winning numbers whilst listening to the news but didn’t check them until later, only finding out that she won once her family checked the results online.

"We're excited, very blessed and will determine in the coming months how we'll spend the money, but we know we'll always have rainbow sherbert," White said at the time.

‘Taking down’ his wealth

Jonathan Vargas won a $35.3 million (£28.7 million) Powerball jackpot in 2008.
He was only 19 when he won and had recently begun working in construction.
Initially, Vargas seemed to be levelled headed for his age, announcing plans to buy his mother a house and set up trust funds for his siblings. He said he had acquired an accountant and would be retaining a lawyer and financial consultant to assist him in managing his fortune.

However, Vargas soon began investing in various schemes which never brought him any returns with his biggest investment being the launch of a television show called ‘Wrestlicious Takedown’, an all-female wresting show which launched in 2010.
The show only last 13 episodes before being axed. Vargas is said to have gone bankrupt.

Over the moon!
Back in 2000, David Copeland from Hertfordshire won a cool £1 million on Camelot’s ‘Big Draw 2000’.
Perhaps it was the buzz of the dawn of the new millennium which influenced him to purchase an acre of land on the Moon, Venus and Mars. He had seen an advert in a magazine and ‘treated himself’, getting deeds and a certificate. At least he only spent £120 – a bargain!
The former lab technician spent 8 years as a police driving instructor and now works as an freelance chauffeur.
In 2006 he claimed that his money had “all be carefully invested.”

Paranormal passion

Rather than “living the dream”, a couple from Nottinghamshire are spending their winnings partaking in an activity that would be more like a nightmare to most people, a paranormal activity, that is, ghost-hunting.

Laura Hoyle and Kirk Stevens won Set for Life lottery in March last year, entitling them to £10,000 a month for 30 years.
The couple said that the lotto win enabled them to “tick off a huge bucket list item – (to) visit the National Justice Museum in Nottingham out-of-hours and spend time there investigating.”

Former manufacturing engineer Kirk decided to give up his job to pursue his paranormal passion, whilst Laura edits their videos. Kirk plans to use his woodwork and electronic skills to “make paranormal investigation products”.

“I know what people want, I have the skill set and I now have the opportunity to make it work,’ he affirmed.

Cash4life – the lifetime lotto

Whilst £10,000 a month for 30 years is a fantastic income, online lotto operator Lottoland offers an even better deal.

Cash4Life by Lottoland offers a top prize of £1,000 a day for the rest of your life! That’s correct, you keep getting paid until you pass off into the afterlife yourself!

The advantage of winning a true ‘cash for life’ lottery is that even if you make some bad decisions, you will always be able to rely on your next payment. With a lump sum, there’s always the temptation to spend massively at once, whilst with a lifetime payment, you can slowly build up and invest bit-by-bit, plus you have the peace of mind knowing you’ll never go broke!

You can visit Lottoland here