Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 9, 2016, 12:40 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Some lottery millionaires can't wait to return to work

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Some lottery millionaires can't wait to return to work

Many of us, if we won big in the lottery, would have one item at or near the top of our to-do list: never work again.

But when Camelot, operator of the UK National Lottery, polled 100 of its lottery millionaires, the results threw up a few surprises. Of those working before their win, a third chose to go on working, with half of them remaining full-time. (And of the two-thirds who have ceased the daily grind, half admitted to missing work.) With a million-plus jingling in your back pocket, why spurn the beach for the salt mine?

Elaine Thompson won £2.7m in December 1995, and quit her job as a payroll manager. But, having moved from Newcastle to Basingstoke in pursuit of the position he'd been working toward for 20 years, her husband Derek was not going to walk away from his sales directorship at Motorola. While Derek had 250 staff in his care, Elaine looked after their two children, but found she needed a sense of independent achievement. She volunteered to help patients at her local hospital, "but nurses would say, 'We don't need you. You're taking a paid job away.' I loved the work but after three months I couldn't take any more. The lottery win created that prejudice."

As for Derek, "two years after the win he was stuck on the M25 for eight-and-a-half hours and he had enough," Elaine recalls. "We'd always wanted to start our own business. Now was the time to do something with the money."

That something turned out to be By The Bay in Lyme Regis, a restaurant with an attached ice-cream parlor and fish-and-chip takeaway with 52 staff. Elaine: "If needs be, you'll find me doing the dishes or mopping the floors; there's not a job I ask my staff to do I haven't done myself.

"It's very stressful," she concedes, "and it never occurs to me I don't have to do this because of the money. I was brought up in the north-east as a hard worker. It's important that our children see us working; you can't tell them to work hard at their A-levels if all they see is you on holiday."

The call of duty is a powerful incentive to stay at work when your living does not depend on it.

Jenny Cooper won nearly £2.5m two years ago, and took precisely one day off her job as deputy head of Kemys Fawr Infants School in Pontypool "to pick up the check and do the press conference. But I wanted to get back to school; I felt guilty missing just one day. I've been a teacher for 27 years and I love it. I thought people might expect me to give up, but quite a few of the parents told me they wanted me to stay. And having the children around helped me to come to terms with the win and keep my feet on the ground. I don't know how long I'll carry on working for. But at the moment, I couldn't bear to leave the children."

Someone who was prepared to throw away years of vocational training when six lucky numbers changed her life was Rachel Bryan, from Swanwick in Derbyshire, who won £2.6m 18 months ago. She was in the final stages of qualifying as a solicitor, but she and her husband, then working in a food laboratory, decamped for a two-month holiday "to get our heads straight. If ever we won the lottery we thought all we'd do is enjoy ourselves, but we found we have to be doing something. It took 11 years for me to qualify but I decided I would rather go into property development than sit in an office all day. We'd always wanted to do this as a sideline but until the win didn't have the choice."

Shedding suit and lab-coat for paint-stained overalls challenged the couple to learn new skills. "I don't get stressed out; I enjoy it," says Bryan. "We're both perfectionists but we have the advantage of being able to say 'stuff it'. We have no financial worries and can now do work that fulfills us."

An ingrained work ethic is behind the decision of Paul Watson, 54, not only to keep working when he won £1.2m in January, but to be up the next day at 3.20am as usual to run his Farmers' Market florist and greengrocery in  erton, Darlington.

"I've been in this trade since I was 16 and have got up very, very early all my life, so it was natural to continue. The only thing that's changed is that I no longer work seven days a week. I take Sundays off now. And I've cut back on weddings and funerals to give my wife, Sue, who is a diabetic, a reduced workload." Why keep going at all? "To keep the staff in a job and serve a very good customer base we've had for years. And I've just brought my oldest son into the business. We want to leave our sons as much as possible.

"But my work is no longer the be-all and end-all," Watson concedes. "There isn't the pressure now to make a living. We're a weather-driven business, so three days of rain would affect our income and that would be a concern; now it isn't. The lease on the shop is up next year; until the lottery win that was a weight on my mind. So was the mortgage rate. Now those worries are behind me. Our business is small and controllable, a low-cost operation apart from rent and rates, so I don't want to expand it or put any money at risk. And all I would do is increase my own workload, which I don't want to do."

The removal of the financial necessity to work has revived in our lottery winners an unalloyed pleasure in the work itself. There is another reason why a lottery millionaire might stay in work: £1m just isn't enough not to. When Julie Jeffrey won that sum five years ago, her husband had already worked out that, once the mortgage had been repaid, the holiday home and other treats bought and gifts made, nothing less than £3m would suffice for them to say farewell to the grindstone. But kitchen planner Chris Jeffrey has been re-enthused in his job by being able to reduce his hours and workload, while Julie loves her part-time job as a fire station cook in Watford so much that not even £3m would prise her away.

"The 28 firemen are like a second family to me; you see them change over time from scared little boys on their first day into men," she explains. "You're working with people who, day in, day out, are prepared to give their lives for others. I'm contributing to their job by feeding them, answering the door and phone. I feel part of the team."

The Jeffreys remain rare among lottery millionaires for remaining in work though not self-employed. Whether active investors in a business, like former secretary Joan Eggington, of Weston-super-Mare — who won £7.2m the day before her 65th birthday in 1998 but has spent her retirement with her husband taking a daily interest in the resort's Royal Hotel which they bought — or younger people working all hours in their own business, the inner entrepreneur rather than the spendaholic lounger has been unleashed in many a lottery millionaire.

Already pursuing their dream when their lucky number came up, ex-waiter and chef, Chris Grundy, 38, and his former Starbucks manager partner, Martyn Frost, were struggling with their antiques shop in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, when a cool million transformed their fortunes — at first to their disadvantage. "Soon after the win the shop was broken into, and people would come in and make stupid offers on things, saying, 'You don't need the money,'" says Grundy. "I got paranoid about going to auctions; I thought people were bidding against me to see me pay over the top for something. So you've got to relearn your game."

They now sell on eBay and have quit the shop to participate in an antiques center, freeing them from six days a week shackled behind the counter. "We can afford to buy better things than before when we were at the cheap end of the market, so now we can make a bigger profit. And we don't have to worry about cash flow, so we can buy items we know are going to appreciate rather than only those we can sell on at a profit straight away," says Grundy. "If I've make a profit dealing an antique, I enjoy the beer that profit's paid for much more than if it had been paid for out of the lottery win. And if I gave up work, I'd be lonely and would have no direction, no goals.

"I am my work; it's a passion, a vocation," he says, speaking for many a lottery-winning busy-bee. "I'm just getting the work-life balance right now."

Guardian

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

29 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by MeFirstYouLast.
Page 1 of 2
KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
Florence, Alabama
United States
Member #8658
November 13, 2004
1993 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 25, 2008, 10:56 am - IP Logged

I know never work again would not be on the top of my to-do list because I would be too bored not doing anything. I don't think I could work for somebody else so I would have to start my own business too.

I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!

    Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
    Clarksville
    United States
    Member #487
    July 15, 2002
    17638 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 25, 2008, 11:20 am - IP Logged

    me too.

    If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

    You never know when you will get another hit.

      colthmn's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg
      Inglewood
      United States
      Member #41769
      June 22, 2006
      122 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 25, 2008, 11:33 am - IP Logged

      Heart warming and True-to-Life stories like these are one of the high points on this site, and I truly look forward to them. Not only serving as food for thought,  but quite enjoyable!!!

                                                                                        Thank You!

        CaliWinner's avatar - aeonflux
        New Member
        Orange County, CA
        United States
        Member #59371
        March 14, 2008
        28 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 25, 2008, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

        I've actually been unemployed for over 9 months in the past, and I'll be honest -- I had NO trouble enjoying it ;) I think there are some people who have the knack of being alone and enjoying themselves by reading and puttering around by themselves, and there are other people who need to be surrounded by other people and interacting with others (introvert vs. extrovert, perhaps).  On the other hand, I wouldn't want to be a total hermit...there were some weeks where I didn't leave the house at all during my unemployment (no real reason to), except when my husband would occasionally drag me out to see a movie or something. I'm not sure how emotionally healthy that is, in the long term.

        I'd be ecstatic to quit my job. But I also wouldn't want to sit around on my butt all day. I'd want to find some sort of volunteer work to do for 2 - 3 days a week. That would keep me active and off my butt, and keep me from being a total hermit, but it also wouldn't feel like a "daily grind" kind of job, you know? 

        Not a winner yet. But I will be!

          spy153's avatar - maren

          United States
          Member #28409
          December 15, 2005
          1198 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 25, 2008, 12:45 pm - IP Logged

          I know people who thought they couldn't wait to never work again.  And when the time came for them to retire, they couldn't bear it.  They felt so "empty."  They felt "bored."  I have heard a lot of things they say for not wanting to quit work.  Only a small handful have actually said it was
          "money" that made them go back to work.  So I have no problem understanding that some people just have a need to work in some way.   It keeps them in the flow of things.  It keeps them in touch with people they can relate to.... etc...

          I don't think I am one of those people.  But if heredity has anything to say about it, I'll be like those folks... just have to do something.

          voir-vous dans mes reves!Cool

            ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
            Idaho
            United States
            Member #56506
            November 21, 2007
            6537 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 25, 2008, 1:52 pm - IP Logged

            If working a job makes one happy, good for them, but I know I could find many things to do that doesn't involve working a 9 to 5 job. 

            "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

              rubberbandman's avatar - Spawn Classic.jpg
              mn
              United States
              Member #59040
              March 4, 2008
              276 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 25, 2008, 4:01 pm - IP Logged

              If owning the world is a job, then i'll do it everyday with no hesitation.

               

              "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
              "The same thing we do every night, Pinky- try to take over the world."

                dphillips's avatar - littleuns
                Albuquerque, New Mexico
                United States
                Member #5128
                June 18, 2004
                377 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 25, 2008, 4:15 pm - IP Logged

                I admire the winners who choose to open their own businesses: what independence, not having to work for someone else. Then, again, I admire winners who choose to give back to their communities by volunteering their services -- helping others without payment.

                If I am a lucky winner, I am not working anymore because I enjoy travelling. I would have my itenerary packed with 'must-things-to-do-and-see before I die.' There would be no excuse why I should not follow my dream -- unless of poor health.

                Finally, for me, there is much more to life than working. There are very few people who enjoy getting up each day and looking forward to working for someone else. Work should not be a duty or a chore; it should be a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment -- not torture!

                See Ya!-- Bye, bye!  When you win, may you glow as brightly as theSun Smiley

                  JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

                  United States
                  Member #4121
                  March 23, 2004
                  817 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 25, 2008, 5:09 pm - IP Logged

                  I admire the winners who choose to open their own businesses: what independence, not having to work for someone else. Then, again, I admire winners who choose to give back to their communities by volunteering their services -- helping others without payment.

                  If I am a lucky winner, I am not working anymore because I enjoy travelling. I would have my itenerary packed with 'must-things-to-do-and-see before I die.' There would be no excuse why I should not follow my dream -- unless of poor health.

                  Finally, for me, there is much more to life than working. There are very few people who enjoy getting up each day and looking forward to working for someone else. Work should not be a duty or a chore; it should be a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment -- not torture!

                  I like your post. Ditto for me too.  Smile

                    rubberbandman's avatar - Spawn Classic.jpg
                    mn
                    United States
                    Member #59040
                    March 4, 2008
                    276 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 25, 2008, 5:32 pm - IP Logged

                    I admire the winners who choose to open their own businesses: what independence, not having to work for someone else. Then, again, I admire winners who choose to give back to their communities by volunteering their services -- helping others without payment.

                    If I am a lucky winner, I am not working anymore because I enjoy travelling. I would have my itenerary packed with 'must-things-to-do-and-see before I die.' There would be no excuse why I should not follow my dream -- unless of poor health.

                    Finally, for me, there is much more to life than working. There are very few people who enjoy getting up each day and looking forward to working for someone else. Work should not be a duty or a chore; it should be a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment -- not torture!

                    I agree with you totally except for the 2nd part of your first paragraph. There are many forms of charity, I wouldnt volunteer, I've done it before and it's not what it's cracked up to be, not very fulfilling or enlightening.

                      CaliWinner's avatar - aeonflux
                      New Member
                      Orange County, CA
                      United States
                      Member #59371
                      March 14, 2008
                      28 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 25, 2008, 5:55 pm - IP Logged

                      I agree with you totally except for the 2nd part of your first paragraph. There are many forms of charity, I wouldnt volunteer, I've done it before and it's not what it's cracked up to be, not very fulfilling or enlightening.

                      I think it depends on the place you volunteer at, and how they're run. I volunteer at an animal shelter occasionally, and I personally find it very fulfilling (if very saddening). I also occasionally volunteer at a women's shelter, and it's certainly enlightening, and I'm glad to be able to help those women.

                      There are other places I've volunteered at, though, where the help did not feel appreciated, and it was not a positive experience. You just have to find the places where your efforts can best be put to use, and where they are well organized, using the money efficiently, and people appreciate what you are doing.

                      Not a winner yet. But I will be!

                        Avatar
                        New Mexico
                        United States
                        Member #58526
                        February 18, 2008
                        683 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 25, 2008, 6:39 pm - IP Logged

                        I've actually been unemployed for over 9 months in the past, and I'll be honest -- I had NO trouble enjoying it ;) I think there are some people who have the knack of being alone and enjoying themselves by reading and puttering around by themselves, and there are other people who need to be surrounded by other people and interacting with others (introvert vs. extrovert, perhaps).  On the other hand, I wouldn't want to be a total hermit...there were some weeks where I didn't leave the house at all during my unemployment (no real reason to), except when my husband would occasionally drag me out to see a movie or something. I'm not sure how emotionally healthy that is, in the long term.

                        I'd be ecstatic to quit my job. But I also wouldn't want to sit around on my butt all day. I'd want to find some sort of volunteer work to do for 2 - 3 days a week. That would keep me active and off my butt, and keep me from being a total hermit, but it also wouldn't feel like a "daily grind" kind of job, you know? 

                        Well put............

                          gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                          ONEONTA,NEW YORK
                          United States
                          Member #30516
                          January 17, 2006
                          419 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 25, 2008, 8:07 pm - IP Logged

                          You got to do something.You can't just sit and watch tv all day or hang out drinking in some bar.So maybe some sort of work or schooling on a favorite subject would do great

                            Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
                            Atlantic Mine, Michigan
                            United States
                            Member #416
                            June 23, 2002
                            1614 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 25, 2008, 11:34 pm - IP Logged

                            This is actually interesting.  I think you can tell if people are happy with their current jobs by the answer to this question.  As for me I would continue to work at my job.  I probably wouldn't work full time but still, I like my job and I wouldn't want to sit around doing nothing.

                             Brad