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Saturday, May 18, 2024

‘I had no choice but to stop or die', says man who blew R236 million

In the online world there exists a myth of the lottery curse.

This refers to lottery winners who supposedly should not have obtained winning tickets in the first place, that it brought them misfortune.

Proponents of this may point to numerous cases where people hit it rich and unfortunately wind up upending their lives.

The circumstances of Irish punter, Peter Lavery, may further be fuel for believers. In 1996, when he worked as a bus driver, he won around R236 million in the lottery which changed his life entirely.

“A friend who knew his numbers had called and said he’d won the jackpot. Thinking it was a wind up (joke), Lavery went home to bed and did not check his numbers until the next morning. But out of 33.3 million people who had bought a ticket that night, only he had the right six numbers,” reported the ‘Mirror’.

In shock, the lucky winner kept going to work until it dawned on him that he now had all this money at his disposal. So, he booked a holiday to the Caribbean.

He took 10 individuals on his trip, including friends and relatives. They stayed for two weeks. Then he took 22 people to New York for St. Patrick’s Day (a religious and cultural holiday held on March 17), including his siblings, friends and ex-colleagues.

Talking to the ‘Mirror’, Lavery said, “I always talked about what I would do if I won the lottery, but I never dreamed it would actually happen”.

He went on to purchase a new family home and another of his own. Lavery also participated in all the suspected ‘new money’ activities such as drinking heavily and reportedly taking other elicit substances.

Lavery also spent his riches on automobiles, spending half a million UK pounds in the first couple of years on Jaguars, Bentleys, and a couple of four wheel drive cars. However, cars are no longer his passion, and all, save his Mercedes, were sold.

He received a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, and his doctor advised him to give up his partying ways.

“I did not drink every day, but once I got a drink in me I just did not want to go home so I would be out in Belfast until four or five in the morning. It’s nothing to be proud of,” Lavery was quoted as saying.



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