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Lottery winner spent $50M before dying

A pile of money. (Government Accountability Office)
January 27, 2023

A record-breaking lottery winner in Scotland spent the last eight years of his life spending his fortune at a rate equivalent to more than $100,000 a week.

Colin Weir — who in 2011 won £161 million, worth around $240 million at the time — managed to spend about a quarter of his winnings before dying aged 71 after an illness in 2019, the Independent reported.

A TV cameraman before hitting the jackpot, Weir spent the equivalent of about $64 million on luxury cars, thoroughbred race horses, a majority stake in a soccer team, and even donations to the Scottish independence movement, according to documents reviewed by the Independent.

He bought a 55 percent share of the Partick Thistle Football Club shortly before his death, after giving it money to start a soccer youth academy in 2013, the Independent reported.

He was a regular donor to the Scottish National Party, and contributed to its 2014 independence campaign, according to the outlet.

His cars included a three-year-old Jaguar F-Pace SUV worth about $35,000, a vintage Bentley Arnage worth about $12,000, a 2019 Mercedes Benz V Class people carrier worth about $43,000, and a four-year-old Mercedes Benz E Class Estate worth about $30,000, according to the Independent.

He and his then-wife, Christine, also bought a £3.5 million mansion called Frognal House after viewing it for about 10 minutes and spent thousands renovating it, the Independent reported. The mansion went to Christine after the two divorced in 2018, and she listed it for sale in 2019, according to Mansion Global.

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The pair lived in separate mansions for a year before divorcing “amicably” after 38 years of marriage, the Daily Mail reported

While they were married, the two also established a charity, the Weir Charitable Trust. 

At the time of the jackpot, Weir was the second-biggest EuroMillions winner. The game requires players to pick five numbers from 1-50 and two “lucky stars” from 1-12, according to its website.

After Weir’s death, his wealth passed to his two children, according to the Independent.