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£2.4 million UK lottery winner opens up 17 years after win

Aug 17, 2021, 3:54 pm

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After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: £2.4 million UK lottery winner opens up 17 years after winRating:

Lucky player offers a glimpse into his "normal" life

By Kate Northrop

More often then not, it's the unfortunate lottery winners we hear about years after the big win, but one UK winner opened up about how he maintained both his wealth and normalcy after winning £2.4 million (US$3.3 million) 17 years ago.

Ben Woods of Rock Ferry did what any person might do after winning the lottery — travel abroad and go on vacation. While most advertised stories chronicle the downfall of unlucky lottery winners who spend it all, Woods is happily enjoying his wealth nearly two decades later.

In 2004, Woods, who was 23 at the time, received a lottery ticket from his mother and scooped a £2,485,736 (US$3,415,761) jackpot.

After spending a few years travelling abroad, the lucky winner settled down to a "normal life" a few miles away from his family home.

"The money doesn't change who you are — it can change how you are," Woods told ECHO. "I was a railway guard based out of Birkenhead Central. It was a good job, and I worked with a bunch of good people."

The first thing he did when he found out he won the big prize was quit his job at Merseyrail, a railway operator in the UK, so he could travel the world.

"At the time I won, I was young, and it was a public facing role," he said in an interview. "[I] felt like I couldn't carry on with it and also didn't particularly want to. I was only 23 when I won it, and I spent a good couple of years in my twenties travelling — anywhere."

While on a trip in 2005, Woods met his current wife. Once they got their vacation fix, the two married, had children, and went on to live a normal life. With the means to settle down just about anywhere, Woods went with the option that was least expected of him — moving back to his hometown in Birkenhead.

"I moved out of my mum and dad's three miles down the road and bought my own house," the lottery winner explained. "A lot of people say I wouldn't stay around here, but all my mates and family are here. Just because you can move away anywhere, it doesn't mean everybody around you can come with you."

Now 40 years old, Woods had plenty of sound advice for future lottery winners, particularly younger players, and fleshed out how he processed coming into a lot of money in such a short amount of time.

"When I won, I went through the financial aspect of what I chose," he explained. I got so much and so much was invested. It's up to you how you deal with it. You can't tell anyone — it's about just trying to stay the same as what you are and stay a bit grounded. I was young, and it is a lot of money, but not when you think you want to enjoy a long time — it's different if you win when you're 50."

Aside from vacationing and investing, the lottery winner used a portion of the prize to buy his sister a house.

"It's been fantastic and really was a life changing amount of money to win," he remarked.

One crucial aspect that kept him grounded in reality, Woods said, is how the National Lottery had helped him connect with other winners as a means of support.

"When you first win, it's hard to discuss with family and friends, but meeting other winners, it's a community as you're in the same boat," Woods related. "If it happens to you, you'd be very lucky to find another lottery winner — it doesn't happen all the time, so meeting up with others who've won, you get to talk among yourselves, and it helps you settle down sort of thing."

Just last week, Woods participated in a beach clean in New Brighton with other National Lottery millionaires like him. The goal of the clean was to raise awareness about the pollution of microplastics in the ocean, or plastics that break down and are eventually ingested by aquatic animals that we consume, like fish.

"The amount we actually found when walking along the seaweed line, it must have been in its thousands — if you think that's on every beach, it's a big problem," Woods recalled. "The pellets get into the ocean, the fish eat it, then effectively its in the fish. If you're eating fish that's caught and eaten these pellets, then you are too; it's in the food chain then."

Woods said that the event of the beach clean itself did not get many visitors, but he was happy to put his time and effort to good use in contributing to and spreading the word about a good cause.

"The reaction we got was fine, although to be fair, it was pretty early in the morning, and there weren't many people on the beach, although we did catch the morning swimmers as they were coming back," the lottery winner said. "I was just happy to have the opportunity to raise awareness."

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9 comments. Last comment 30 days ago by GiveFive.
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Avatar
Simpsonville
United States
Member #163182
January 22, 2015
2685 Posts
Offline

The second sentence of the second paragraph summed everything up.   And a gift from his Mum.   

He definitely has a good head on his shoulders and very family oriented.  By staying anonymous and good investing he avoided some serious pitfalls.

 

Sister is lucky, pardon the pun, to have a Brother like him.

    Avatar

    Belgium
    Member #214858
    April 17, 2021
    644 Posts
    Offline

    2.4*1.17=2.808 million euros.

    How long can you live of it? Can you make some of it resist the inflation?

      Avatar
      Gallatin Tennesee
      United States
      Member #194096
      November 29, 2018
      82 Posts
      Offline

      Great job by this guy. Critical thinking at such a young age. It's really good that the National Lottery connected him with prior winners for support, but since he is in Great Brittan, that is the home of "The Lotto Lout" Michael Carroll. No lottery winner on earth should ever take advice from Michael.....lol. Love this story Kate.

      TypeDrumIdea 

        Avatar
        Baton Rouge, LA
        United States
        Member #4602
        May 7, 2004
        738 Posts
        Offline

        I'm happy for this man. I'm sure there are others like him out there.

        He enjoyed himself traveling and now leads a quiet life.

        Best way to go.

        Prisoner Six

        "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

          Avatar

          New Zealand
          Member #177451
          September 29, 2016
          47 Posts
          Offline

          2.4*1.17=2.808 million euros.

          How long can you live of it? Can you make some of it resist the inflation?

          An inflation adjusted  that 2004 to 2021 is 157% increase.. 2.4million = ~3.77 million.. But that doesn't really tell the story.

          Back in 2004 the median wage was about 28k pounds.. making the win more than 86 years' wages (remember, that 28k is before tax while the 2.4 million is tax free...)

           

          So, if you don't waste it (and he bought a house and invested money).. then the money can last..

          and if he wants, he can get a day job...

           

          If he invested over half the money 17 years ago, it (and the house he bought) will be worth a lot more now.. You can live quite well on teh median wage if you own a freehold home :)

            Avatar
            New Member

            United Kingdom
            Member #214750
            April 12, 2021
            10 Posts
            Offline

            If I were him, I would just buy an island and isolate from people.

              Avatar

              Belgium
              Member #214858
              April 17, 2021
              644 Posts
              Offline

              An inflation adjusted  that 2004 to 2021 is 157% increase.. 2.4million = ~3.77 million.. But that doesn't really tell the story.

              Back in 2004 the median wage was about 28k pounds.. making the win more than 86 years' wages (remember, that 28k is before tax while the 2.4 million is tax free...)

               

              So, if you don't waste it (and he bought a house and invested money).. then the money can last..

              and if he wants, he can get a day job...

               

              If he invested over half the money 17 years ago, it (and the house he bought) will be worth a lot more now.. You can live quite well on teh median wage if you own a freehold home :)

              2.4 million would be 3.77 million today then. - Yes, if he could make it that amount, so his money is 1.53 million today. If he did bad investments he can have lost up to all of his money. - On his house, he has to pay taxes every year. If there were errors in the construction, then he has to pay repairs. In a worst case, a building is torn down. If he has a million giving 10% net interests or net dividends then he has of that 100000 pounds a year of that money. Roughly, 2400000/12month/80years=2500 per month, indexing if the money grows. - If he was lucky, ground and construction in that area did not cost to much. ...

                hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

                United States
                Member #52343
                May 21, 2007
                3383 Posts
                Offline

                If I were him, I would just buy an island and isolate from people.

                to each his/her own ..... 

                and I'm happy and have no doubt Hes much satisfied with his life now and hopefully his future will be equally rich

                  GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
                  Florida - West Coast
                  United States
                  Member #92605
                  June 10, 2010
                  5186 Posts
                  Offline

                  Everybody thinks life becomes a breeze when you win/inherit a lot of money, but the reality is that it doesn't.  Having a great deal of money means you have to work hard at preserving it.  If you dont know how to do that, (most people who have never had a lot of money have no knowledge of what to do so as to able to keep it) it's very likely it wont last. 

                  So the best thing anybody can do, if they dont know how to preserve their wealth, is to hire a team of professionals to manage it for you.  I cant tell from reading the article if the man did that or not, but he may have. 

                  Ask yourself this question; Do I know how manage a large sum of money?  Many think they do, but they dont, and there is no guarantee of keeping it even if you do hire professionals.  Have you ever actually managed a big pool of money?  If so, then you understand that it's very easy for a big chunk of money to evaporate in a single day. And that's probably because you witnessed a day when it actually happened. My point is amateurs dont stand much of a chance of preserving wealth, and professionals can make big mistakes too. I once attended a presentation by a professional money manager who told the audience that she had lost in one day's time 12 million dollars of a clients money.

                  I wonder what the client said to her when she told him she had lost it?  It probably was something like "How are you going to get it back, and when will it be in my account?" but with a lot more profanity than The Lottery Post will allow me to write.  G5 

                  Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."