£27 million EuroMillions lottery winner found dead at home

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Euro MillionsEuro Millions: £27 million EuroMillions lottery winner found dead at homeRating:

Millionaire with “serious illness” said that winning the lottery “destroyed” her life

By Kate Northrop

STRABANE, Ireland — A lottery winner of a £27 million (US$37.4 million) EuroMillions jackpot was found dead in her bungalow on Thursday.

After winning millions in the Ireland National Lottery in 2013, Margaret Loughrey, then 48, instantly went from being poor, unemployed and struggling to one of the nation’s richest individuals. She had just completed her dream home when she was discovered dead this week.

Eight years ago, Loughrey left her house to apply for a job. While she was out, she took a chance with the couple extra pounds she had in her purse and bought a Lucky Dip (Quick Pick) for EuroMillions, despite not always being able to afford playing the lottery.

That leap of faith changed her life forever.

After collecting the £27 million jackpot, Loughrey knew what she had to do. Less than a year after the win, the big-hearted woman gave away most of her winnings to people in need as well as her hometown of Strabane, leaving just £1.06 million (US$1.48 million) for herself. She said that she dreamed of retiring to the south of Spain, but she would never allow the money to change her.

“I know what it’s like to have nothing,” the winner said in an interview in 2014. “That’s why I’m giving it away — I can’t miss what I never had.”

Loughrey, who was later nicknamed “Maggie Millions”, was perhaps one of Strabane’s biggest cheerleaders. Her hope was to invest in the town as a potential focal point for tourism to highlight its unique and quaint characteristics. Ultimately, she wanted to see both the town and its residents flourish.

“I’m a good person and I bother no one,” Loughrey said in 2013 after her win. “If whatever is out there has given me this amount of money, then it couldn’t be for anything but good. All it will do is change lives for the better and make a lot of people happy, not just me.”

However, her brother, who was the first person she called about her lottery win, did not have a good feeling about the news.

“I was the first to be told,” her brother, Paul Loughrey, said in an interview with The Mirror. “We were close right up until the money, but from that day I knew. I told the rest of the family, ‘this is not going to be good for Margaret.'”

Friends and acquaintances frequently commented on how great it must have been to win such a lifechanging amount of money, but Paul always reminded them to be careful what they wished for.

“It nearly ruined all our family,” the 52-year-old revealed. “Not just Margaret.”

According to her brother, Loughrey had a happy childhood up until their father, then a bricklayer, fell off a roof and passed away. Since that tragic period in her life, Paul said, she developed a mental health illness, which was likely exacerbated by the pressures of suddenly managing such a substantial amount of wealth.

Strangely, she “chased” her four siblings out of her life but still gave her family members and closest friends £1 million (US$1.38 million) each.

“I was the first to be told to go,” Paul recalled. “It was very sad. She just didn’t want to know us anymore. She didn’t want us in her life but still she gave us the money. It doesn’t make sense, does it? But she made sure we were all okay.”

Loughrey selflessly put her money to good use, but there were times where lapses in judgment or questionable decisions led to unfortunate consequences. In 2015, she was convicted of assaulting a taxi driver while under the influence and was handed 150 hours of community service. Just last year, she had to pay a former employee £30,000 (US$41,500) after being accused of issuing an unfair dismissal.

The winnings sent the millionairess “to hell and back,” Loughrey told The Times.

“Money has brought me nothing but grief,” she continued. “It has destroyed my life. I have had six years of this. I don’t believe in religion, but if there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad.”

Despite all the troubling times the lottery winner has been through, it is Councilor Paul Gallagher’s hope that the caring woman will be remembered for the good deeds she eagerly carried out with the prize money.

“Covid has put a mighty strain on charities,” Gallagher explained. “She had her troubles, but Margaret has helped with the survival of these groups, and those benefits will be felt for a long, long time to come.”

Locals revealed that the lottery winner quietly paid for those who desperately needed help but were unable to afford services on their own. One resident said that she paid for people to have gastric bands fitted, to travel to Turkey to have their teeth fixed, and for ill children’s expensive surgery. She also supported a school in Strabane that accommodates children ages three to 19 with special needs, as well as an organization that supports adults with intellectual disabilities.

“No point in having £27 million and being lonely,” Loughrey said before her death. “That can’t make me happy, that can only make me happy that everybody else’s happy, and so far everybody is absolutely delighted.”

Loughrey had also renovated a mansion, dubbed “The Barn,” on the scenic horizon of Strabane that she never got to live in. She lived nearby in a humble cottage worth £125,000 (US$173,000) with her two terrier dogs. It was there that she was discovered deceased.

Police said they are not treating the death as suspicious, and her family is positive that she died of natural causes. However, Paul has a feeling that the strains and pressures on his sister as a result of the lottery winnings could have been a contributing factor.

“It was too much to deal with,” he told MailOnline. “It was a lot of money. I couldn’t have dealt with it. Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted it. We don’t know what the cause of death is yet, but she didn’t take her own life. We definitely know that.”

Paul also explained that his sister had denied help for her deteriorating health and that she did not leave home as a result.

“She was very sick for a couple of weeks, but she refused to go to the doctor and refused to go to the hospital,” the brother recalled. “She was very frail. Margaret was always like a knitting needle. Even when she was a [child], she was always light framed.”

The remainder of Loughrey’s assets will go to charity. In the wake of her death, Paul reflected on how the National Lottery could change to support those he feels would be burdened by a sudden influx of wealth.

“It’s time the government look at the size of jackpots,” Paul stated. “They need to be capped. A person working in a factory or a call center like I was can’t deal with money like that.”

However, he went on record to say that he believes EuroMillions officials did their best to support his sister.

“Camelot takes its duty of care to winners very seriously and all major winners are offered support and advice for as long as they wish,” National Lottery operator Camelot Group said in a statement.

It was Loughrey’s wish to be cremated, her ashes turned into a pebble to be left on Marble Hill beach in Co Donegal.

“Our mother and father took us there as children,” Paul said in an interview. “It’s the only time she was really happy, when all of us were small. I hope that Margaret’s happy today wherever she is. At least she’s at peace.”

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Millionaire with “serious illness” said that winning the lottery “destroyed” her life

By Kate Northrop

A lottery winner of a £27 million (US$37.4 million) EuroMillions jackpot was found dead in her bungalow on Thursday.

After winning millions in the Ireland National Lottery in 2013, Margaret Loughrey, then 48, instantly went from being poor, unemployed and struggling to one of the nation’s richest individuals. She had just completed her dream home when she was discovered dead this week.

Eight years ago, Loughrey left her house to apply for a job. While she was out, she took a chance with the couple extra pounds she had in her purse and bought a Lucky Dip (Quick Pick) for EuroMillions, despite not always being able to afford playing the lottery.

That leap of faith changed her life forever.

After collecting the £27 million jackpot, Loughrey knew what she had to do. Less than a year after the win, the big-hearted woman gave away most of her winnings to people in need as well as her hometown of Strabane, leaving just £1.06 million (US$1.48 million) for herself. She said that she dreamed of retiring to the south of Spain, but she would never allow the money to change her.

“I know what it’s like to have nothing,” the winner said in an interview in 2014. “That’s why I’m giving it away — I can’t miss what I never had.”

Loughrey, who was later nicknamed “Maggie Millions”, was perhaps one of Strabane’s biggest cheerleaders. Her hope was to invest in the town as a potential focal point for tourism to highlight its unique and quaint characteristics. Ultimately, she wanted to see both the town and its residents flourish.

“I’m a good person and I bother no one,” Loughrey said in 2013 after her win. “If whatever is out there has given me this amount of money, then it couldn’t be for anything but good. All it will do is change lives for the better and make a lot of people happy, not just me.”

However, her brother, who was the first person she called about her lottery win, did not have a good feeling about the news.

“I was the first to be told,” her brother, Paul Loughrey, said in an interview with The Mirror. “We were close right up until the money, but from that day I knew. I told the rest of the family, ‘this is not going to be good for Margaret.'”

Friends and acquaintances frequently commented on how great it must have been to win such a lifechanging amount of money, but Paul always reminded them to be careful what they wished for.

“It nearly ruined all our family,” the 52-year-old revealed. “Not just Margaret.”

According to her brother, Loughrey had a happy childhood up until their father, then a bricklayer, fell off a roof and passed away. Since that tragic period in her life, Paul said, she developed a mental health illness, which was likely exacerbated by the pressures of suddenly managing such a substantial amount of wealth.

Strangely, she “chased” her four siblings out of her life but still gave her family members and closest friends £1 million (US$1.38 million) each.

“I was the first to be told to go,” Paul recalled. “It was very sad. She just didn’t want to know us anymore. She didn’t want us in her life but still she gave us the money. It doesn’t make sense, does it? But she made sure we were all okay.”

Loughrey selflessly put her money to good use, but there were times where lapses in judgment or questionable decisions led to unfortunate consequences. In 2015, she was convicted of assaulting a taxi driver while under the influence and was handed 150 hours of community service. Just last year, she had to pay a former employee £30,000 (US$41,500) after being accused of issuing an unfair dismissal.

The winnings sent the millionairess “to hell and back,” Loughrey told The Times.

“Money has brought me nothing but grief,” she continued. “It has destroyed my life. I have had six years of this. I don’t believe in religion, but if there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad.”

Despite all the troubling times the lottery winner has been through, it is Councilor Paul Gallagher’s hope that the caring woman will be remembered for the good deeds she eagerly carried out with the prize money.

“Covid has put a mighty strain on charities,” Gallagher explained. “She had her troubles, but Margaret has helped with the survival of these groups, and those benefits will be felt for a long, long time to come.”

Locals revealed that the lottery winner quietly paid for those who desperately needed help but were unable to afford services on their own. One resident said that she paid for people to have gastric bands fitted, to travel to Turkey to have their teeth fixed, and for ill children’s expensive surgery. She also supported a school in Strabane that accommodates children ages three to 19 with special needs, as well as an organization that supports adults with intellectual disabilities.

“No point in having £27 million and being lonely,” Loughrey said before her death. “That can’t make me happy, that can only make me happy that everybody else’s happy, and so far everybody is absolutely delighted.”

Loughrey had also renovated a mansion, dubbed “The Barn,” on the scenic horizon of Strabane that she never got to live in. She lived nearby in a humble cottage worth £125,000 (US$173,000) with her two terrier dogs. It was there that she was discovered deceased.

Police said they are not treating the death as suspicious, and her family is positive that she died of natural causes. However, Paul has a feeling that the strains and pressures on his sister as a result of the lottery winnings could have been a contributing factor.

“It was too much to deal with,” he told MailOnline. “It was a lot of money. I couldn’t have dealt with it. Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted it. We don’t know what the cause of death is yet, but she didn’t take her own life. We definitely know that.”

Paul also explained that his sister had denied help for her deteriorating health and that she did not leave home as a result.

“She was very sick for a couple of weeks, but she refused to go to the doctor and refused to go to the hospital,” the brother recalled. “She was very frail. Margaret was always like a knitting needle. Even when she was a [child], she was always light framed.”

The remainder of Loughrey’s assets will go to charity. In the wake of her death, Paul reflected on how the National Lottery could change to support those he feels would be burdened by a sudden influx of wealth.

“It’s time the government look at the size of jackpots,” Paul stated. “They need to be capped. A person working in a factory or a call center like I was can’t deal with money like that.”

However, he went on record to say that he believes EuroMillions officials did their best to support his sister.

“Camelot takes its duty of care to winners very seriously and all major winners are offered support and advice for as long as they wish,” National Lottery operator Camelot Group said in a statement.

It was Loughrey’s wish to be cremated, her ashes turned into a pebble to be left on Marble Hill beach in Co Donegal.

“Our mother and father took us there as children,” Paul said in an interview. “It’s the only time she was really happy, when all of us were small. I hope that Margaret’s happy today wherever she is. At least she’s at peace.”

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

This lottery winner already had mental health issues due to her father’s death years earlier. Winning such a large amount of money, only made her issues worse. The lottery winner’s brother suggested putting a cap on how big a lottery should be able to grow, is NOT the answer. Even if the lottery cap was only one million dollars, it still would not stop the lottery winner from having problems managing it or having mental issues exacerbated by it.

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I have a co-worker who also feels lottery jackpots are too large. She believes that none should ever exceed one million dollars, but more important, that no one should have one million dollars. Most of you are already ahead of me – she’s a liberal.

Of course, we have another lottery in our state where you can win a minimum jackpot of one million – and the odds of winning it are so much better – but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that more people are pouring their money in today’s $383M Mega Millions and $416M Powerball. The money spent to get those jackpots would not have been spent if those were capped at one million. No chance on earth.

The guy next to me buying MM and PB tickets had his orders initially entered wrong due to a novice cashier, but I was happy to pick up those “error” tickets. I’ll see y’all here on Tuesday and again on Wednesday when I pick up those $799M numbers!

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