People all around the world love football. Nowhere is that more evident than in the UK. Let us share with you one example of how one lucky lotto winner was so committed to his love of football that it ended with a court battle and the loss of millions.
It was 1997. John McGuinness, 44, was a hospital porter who was having a tough time. He was sleeping on the floor of his parent’s home, divorced, and earning a respectable £150 per week. He was driving a beat-up, old Vauxhall Astra. Needless to say, this was not what he pictured his midlife years would be like. But, things were about to change.
McGuinness tried his luck at the National Lottery and he was thrilled to find that he won £10 million! We’re sure McGuinness thought his financial problems were over forever. You can read more about the win on the Lottolands article. His dreams started coming true as he started buying the things he always wanted, and he was generous with those he loved too.
Of course, McGuinness did what a lot of lotto winners do with their windfalls. First, he got rid of his old car and bought a new car. He bought a Ferrari Modena Spyder. Then he bought a Bentley, Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW. He gave close family and friends a sum that totaled roughly £3 million. This includes a gift of £750,000 to his ex-wife. He took wonderful holidays. He bought a £500,000 seafront apartment in Majorca. This would be followed by a luxury home later. Then in 2004, he spent £200,000 to give his new bride the wedding of her dreams.
Reading this story you may think, McGuinness had everything he could possibly want to make him happy, right? Well, almost. Jon McGuinness (like millions of other die-hard fans in the U.K) loves football. It is hard to explain with just words how a UK fan loves football. It is comparable to fish, loving water, and birds loving the sky.
Before long McGuinness was contacted by Ex-Celtic Director, Dominic Keane. He was looking for an investor on his business venture, the Livingston Football Club. The idea appealed to McGuinness. He invested £4 million.
This is a huge investment for a small football club, and McGuiness must have loved the attention he was getting. As McGuinness attended the day-to-day responsibility of the club, his popularity was growing and his position seemed to be climbing through the ranks. He quit his job as a nurse and decided to live off the interest of his savings. He built a new stand to help with the demands of the Scottish Premier League. They had some friendly games with some big names like Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Continental Clubs. It is fair to say he was enjoying the position his investment brought him.
If there is one thing McGuinness has proven throughout his experience, he is a trusting and generous man. He agreed to guarantee a bank loan presented to him by his friend and business partner Willie Haughey. Dominic Keane brought the papers to him for his signature. He knew it was a risk for the club. However, he felt okay about it because his friend and multimillionaire investor’s name was on the paperwork. He placed his trust in that, never even considering the signature could be a forgery. Very soon, this error in judgment would be the undoing of his new way of life and of all he had built for his family and their future.
McGuinness lost the bonds. The bank (RBS) brought a lawsuit against Mr. Haughey and Mr. McGuinness to recover the loan debt. Of course, McGuinness had always trusted both men so this was shocking for him. But more shocking news was to come. Examination of the document by handwriting, analysts determined that Mr. Haughey was probably not the person who signed the document and that Dominic Keane could have been.
McGuinness sued Keane for fraud. Keane denied the allegation. He claimed that he also lost his house during the problem. However, the McGuinness family lost everything. They have had to sell off everything they owned. This includes the cars, the Spanish Style Apartment, mansion, designer clothes, jewelry, and personalized license plates. Some weeks, John worries that he won’t be able to buy groceries. They are always heckled in the streets and John suffers from depression. It took the jury 40 minutes to acquit Keane.
It is interesting to note that Keane is in another legal battle. Dominic Keaneurt’s accused of spending his brother’s money from the same bank (RBS) to the tune of over £6 million.
It is not uncommon for people who win the lottery to lose it all. Here is a list of people who thought it could never happen to them, but it did. This is one reason why Lottoland, an online casino and record hider for the largest online lotto payout in the world, has their lotto winners speak to financial advisors when they win. This is a social responsibility they take seriously. Winners who understand how to protect themselves can live very comfortably on their lotto wins. That is a win for everyone.