Biggest Lotto Win of All
One of the biggest lotto wins in Europe was won by a couple in July 2011. Colin and Christine Weir, from Largs, Ayrshire, who won the entire whopping jackpot of £161 million in the EuroMillions draw.
The couple had been married for thirty years by that time and have two children, Carly (30) who was studying photography at the time, and their son Jamie (28) who then worked in a local call centre.
Colin had worked as a TV cameraman and studio manager for 23 years whilst Chris had been a psychiatric nurse for 37 years, allowing the family to live a comfortable life within their means. Unfortunately, by 2011 both had been unable to work for several years due to serious health issues. This lotto win stunned them and Mr Weir had said, “When we first won, it had felt like a dream. Everything went in slow motion.”
Luckily the family seems rather level headed and did not blow their millions as so many do. Mrs Weir said that they had many opportunities to explore but that they did not want to rush into anything. For them, she said, it would be about gradual change and choices. The first things they mentioned were a new home, including homes for each of their children, new cars for themselves and of course the opportunity to travel. Mrs Weir said that they were most excited about the travel opportunities.
Mr Weir had never been fond of travel due to his rheumatoid arthritis and leg injury; however, first class tickets would definitely persuade him as it would be far less hassle. Where would they like to go? Top of their list was the Great Wall of China, art galleries in Paris and Russia, Cambodia and Thailand, standing at the foot of Ayers Rock in Australia, and fulfilling Mr Weir’s dream of watching Barcelona play from the comfort of his own box at the Camp Nou stadium.
The first thing the Weirs did was clear their debt. Then a month after winning, they sold their modest three bedroom and bought Knock House, a sprawling 5 bedroom with a 3 bedroom gatehouse for guest accommodation, for around £800 000. They spent a three years renovating and then sold it, moving into a larger, 3-acre estate worth a nice £3 million. Each child also got their own house and started taking driving lessons.
The Weirs have also become quite well known for donating to charitable causes and set up their own foundation, The Weir CharitableTrust (http://weircharitabletrust.com), shortly after their win. Amongst other things, they have also become one of the UK’s biggest political donors and have invested heavily in the Partick Thistle football club.
The Weirs modest three bedroom house in Largs.
The Weirs first mansion, Knock House
The Weirs current mansion, Frognal Estate in Troon, Scotland
The Weirs are still greatly enjoying their fortune which catapulted them into 430th place on the Sunday Times rich list, not far below the Beckhams who have an official fortune of £165 million. “It seems absolutely fantastical,” said Mrs Weir, “I woke up on Tuesday morning and everything was ordinary. I woke up on Wednesday and the world was totally different for us.” One thing is certain, the family has definitely lived by the adage of “with great wealth comes great responsibility.”
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