Home Lotto I won £800,000 on the lottery when I was 28 but blew it all, now I work in a restaurant

I won £800,000 on the lottery when I was 28 but blew it all, now I work in a restaurant

I won £800,000 on the lottery when I was 28 but blew it all, now I work in a restaurant

AN “embarrassed” lottery winner has opened up about how he blew his £800,000 winnings in just eight years.

The man, who chose to remain anonymous, hit the jackpot on a scratch card when he was 28 years old.

The man bravely shared his story in hopes of receiving financial advice


The man bravely shared his story in hopes of receiving financial adviceCredit: Getty

He is now 36 years old, has none of his profits left and works in a restaurant to make ends meet.

“I'm quite ashamed of it,” he bravely admitted.

He spent the windfall on gambling, explaining that buying the scratch ticket was itself a form of gambling – an addiction he could not overcome after winning.

“I'm a former lottery winner,” he shared on the financial advice radio show, The Ramsey Show.

“I won a million dollars on a scratch card in Virginia, USA, when I was 28.

“I'm 36 now and I've experienced it all.

“I gambled to buy the ticket, right?

“So that never stopped.

“(After I won, the gambling) it was more casinos, sports gambling.”

The man said that not long before he came on the show, he had tried to change his life.

What are the signs of gambling addiction?

According to the charity Be Gamble Aware, the following signs could indicate a problem:

  • Spending more time and money gambling than you can afford
  • Finding it difficult to cope or stop gambling
  • Arguing with friends and family about money/gambling
  • Loss of interest in normal hobbies
  • More time to think/talk about gambling
  • Lying about your gambling, or hiding it from those who care about you
  • Chasing losses and gambling to get out of financial trouble
  • Gamble all your money
  • Borrow money, sell assets or default on bills to finance your gambling activities
  • Have to gamble with larger sums of money, or for longer, to get the same buzz
  • Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs, or household chores because of gambling
  • Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed, or irritable

He said he contacted Gamblers Anonymous, an addiction support group, and made an appointment to talk to someone who can help him overcome his addiction.

He said he now worked as a restaurant manager and earned just £60,000 ($75,000) a year.

The man also had two student loans yet to be paid off, totaling around £23,000 in debt.

The Ramsey Show hosts – Ken Coleman, Dave Ramsey and George Kamel – helped him come up with a financial plan live on air.

George offered a glimmer of hope that the debt could be paid off within a year, setting up an emergency fund and beginning to pay off the amount.

“Then we're going to set up a fully funded emergency fund so you never have to go into debt again, so you're on a financial footing,” George said.

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“But the bigger piece is getting your spending under control and getting this addiction under control.”

Research has previously shown that lottery winners are more likely to file for bankruptcy than non-winners.

Get help for gambling addiction

If you or someone close to you is struggling with a gambling addiction, there are a number of places you can seek help

  • National Problem Gambling Clinic: NHS specialist clinic for problem gamblers (in England and Wales only, for people aged 16 and over).
  • GamCare: Britain's leading support and advice organisation, which also runs the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133).
  • Gamblers Anonymous: a charity that uses the same 12-step approach as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • GamAnon: A support group for family and friends, run by the people behind Gamblers Anonymous.
  • Samaritans: A 24-hour service for people who are suicidal (116 123).
  • Children's line: A free helpline for young people up to the age of 18 (0800 1111).

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