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Jim & Etta McCowen

pounds 1.5m

Pensioners Jim and Etta, both 71, have only spent about pounds 100,000 of their February 1996 win. The couple didn't even move house. Instead, they paid pounds 30,000 to buy the Stranraer council house in which they have lived for 45 years.

Jim and Etta also went on a pounds 20,000 around-the-world trip to Australia, New Zealand, the Far East and Los Angeles, flying first class with Air New Zealand.

And the couple have set aside cash for their son Jim, 50, and grandchildren Ian, 26, and 24-year-old Paul. They said: 'We've not gone mad with our money but it has meant financial security for us and our family."


pounds 1.3m

PENNY, 47, from Doncaster, scooped her fortune in March 1996 and has hardly touched a penny.

But that's not what Penny's neighbours think. For she and her husband John, 51, spend a lot of their time renovating houses. The couple move in, do them up and sell them - usually at a tidy profit.

Penny laughs: "People think we Lottery winners must spend a fortune on our home. In fact, it's our business."

John says: "It gives us a good living so we can leave the Lottery win to grow."



pounds 2.4m

SUE Helliwell, 38, a former geriatric nurse from Darlington, Co Durham, won last August and has spent about pounds 250,000. A pounds 200,000 four- bedroom home with stable for horse Olly and three acres of land is her biggest purchase.

There's also a pounds 16,000 Renault Laguna for fiance Colin Stoddard, 30, and an pounds 8,000 Vauxhall Corsa for son Guy, 20. Over pounds 2m has been placed in investments and savings.

Sue says: "We are concentrating on doing up the house and living on the interest. I hate flying so I have no real plans to travel."


pounds 1.9m

BILL has spent about pounds 500,000 of his September1996 win - pounds 300,000 on his family and friends.

He spent pounds 42,000 on plots of land for his brother and his son Shane, 23. Shane was also treated to a BMW 3-series 1.8i, and a trust fund was set up for the couple's two other children, Carla, 14, and Martyn, 7.

Bill and Pauline ploughed pounds 80,000 into the family business, a building maintenance firm. Another pounds 60,000 went to pay off their mortgage. And Bill bought his dream car - a pounds 35,000 Range Rover.

Bill, 44, from Kings Lynn, joked: "We're fairly tight in Norfolk so we haven't gone over the top.

"The most lavish expense has been a pounds 45,000 holiday home in Hunstanton, Norfolk."


pounds 1.2m

IN July '95 Mel, 50, shared pounds 2.5m with business partner John Biesty - and he's already spent the Lott!

He started with an 11-bedroom mansion in north Wales which set him back pounds 510,000, and almost pounds 100,000 on a Mercedes sports car for his wife and a Range Rover for himself. Cash and gifts to friends, family and employees came to pounds 412,000.

Mel spent pounds 125,000 on his holiday homes in France and Spain and pounds 80,000 settling business debts. He also reckons to have spent pounds 10,000 on fags.

But Mel isn't worried - he was a millionaire before his win.

He says: "I spent the lot and I couldn't give a jot. I smoke 100 a day and wake up every morning and think: Thank God I'm alive."



pounds 3.8m

THE Westlands from Alloa in Scotland won pounds 3.79 million in July 1995.

They spent pounds 500,000 on a hotel, pounds 270,000 on a nine-bedroom house and pounds 82,000 on a lorry and trailer for their son's new haulage business.

They haven't cut corners when it comes to cars, either. They have bought a BMW 520 for pounds 27,000, a pounds 15,000 Vauxhall Vectra, a pounds 16,500 Vauxhall Tigra, an pounds 18,000 MGF and a pounds 17,000 Range Rover, all for family members.

Then there was pounds 4,000 on a ski trip, pounds 3,000 on clothes, and pounds 520,000 on gifts to family and friends, including pounds 50,000 each to Bob's two brothers. The couple also have pounds 1.8 million in savings.

Bob, 59, just back from a trip to Saudi Arabia, said: "We're big fans of yours, Lenny, and we're really glad you've joined the Mirror."


PROUD parents Alison and Jim Shaw were the only winners at my lunch who hadn't scooped a million but they were the happiest in the room!

They used cash from their pounds 72,656 win to pay for IVF fertility treatment and they really hit the jackpot when little Brandon (above) was born.

Lottery winner mum Alison, 30, said: "Winning made our dreams come true - it gave us the chance to have a child." And dad Jim, 50, said: "A million million couldn't bring us the happiness Brandon has." The couple, who had been trying for a child for six years, won in November 1995.

Jim told me: "We are not in the same league in financial terms as these other winners but I doubt anyone is happier."



pounds 2.7m

We want to lead a normal life for the sake of our kids

ELAINE Thompson, 39, won pounds 2.7m with husband Derek in December '95.

They gave pounds 900,000 to Elaine's brother Ian - the three were in a family syndicate together.

But the couple's lifestyle hasn't changed dramatically. They paid off the pounds 100,000 mortgage on their home in Basingstoke, Hants and their only really lavish buy was a pounds 14,000 racehorse.

pounds 1 million is being held in trust for daughter Karen, 12, and son Gary, six.

Elaine said: "We want to lead as normal a life as we can for the sake of our children.

"It wouldn't be a very good example if we just sat around the house all day doing nothing."


pounds 1.5m

JOANNE and Dean shared the win with Dean's parents and have sensibly invested pounds 500,000 of their half to make them secure for life.

But they have also been on a spending spree. They splashed out pounds 150,000 on their dream home - a four-bedroom bungalow near Wakefield.

They spent another pounds 20,000 doing it up and Dean, 26, is thinking of treating himself to a pounds 41,000 BMW M3 Evolution. He has already bought a jet ski.

Joanne, 31, said: "We've invested a lot of the money but the great temptation is to take it all out and just spend, spend, spend! But that's one thing we mustn't do."


pounds 2.7m

BIG-hearted Doug landed his win in September 1995 and has used his fortune to help charity.

He has already spent pounds 1 million - pounds 380,000 of it on four houses which will be donated to a hospice on his death.

About pounds 200,000 has gone to relatives, another pounds 100,000 was shared between the Salvation Army, the RNLI, Southend breast cancer research charity, the Surf Life Saving Association of Great Britain and Southend Rotary Club.

For himself, Doug has spent pounds 66,000 on his bungalow home, about pounds 4,000 on a Concorde trip to New York and he lays out about pounds 900 a week on gambling.


pounds 10.2m

Former Belfast bus driver Peter hit the jackpot a year ago - and turned up to work the following day.

Although Peter has since jacked in his job - he can't stop giving cash away.

Relatives and charity have benefited to the tune of pounds 3 million. But Peter is generous with his time, too.

He devotes most of his week to community work in Northern Ireland.

Peter says: "People ask me if some folk get jealous. But real friends shake your hand and say: I wish it had been me - but good luck to you."
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 22, 1997
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