Tragic Lotto winner said jackpot had ‘ruined his life’ | UK | News

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Bakery worker Keith Gough splashed out on flash cars and racehorses after scooping a Lotto jackpot – but went on to say his big win had “ruined his life”.

Keith quit his job after he became a multimillionaire overnight after scooping the £9million jackpot in 2005 – treating himself and his wife Louise to the finer things in life including a £350,000 VIP box at his beloved Aston Villa.

The couple also swapped their £160,000 semi in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, for a plush £500,000 detached house in nearby Westgate.

Unfortunately, Keith also developed a taste for alcohol and after a long period of heavy drinking his 25-year marriage fell apart and he checked into a rehab clinic, the Mirror reports.

In 2009, a year before he died, he told reporters the win had “ruined his life”.

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He said:  “Without routine in my life I started to spend, spend, spend. In the end I was just bored.

“Before the win all I would drink was some wine with a meal. I used to be popular but I’ve driven away all my friends. I don’t trust anyone any more.

“When I see someone going into a newsagent, I advise them not to buy a lottery ticket.”

Keith died in Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital, having been ill for some time, at the age of 58.

Ex-wife Louise, aged 58, had played the National Lottery since it was launched in the 1990s, despite never winning more than £104.  Even after they broke up in 2007 she still gave him another £1.5million.

While he was in Birmingham’s Priory clinic Keith was targeted by James Prince, a scam artist and convicted fraudster who befriended him and started to bleed him dry.

Prince, who was later jailed for three years and four months for his con, drove a black Bentley and wore expensive jewellery despite being bankrupt and £144,000 in debt. 

He persuaded Keith, who Chester Crown Court heard was an “easy and vulnerable” victim, to write cheques for bogus business ventures and spent the cash on his own lavish lifestyle.

Prince, who was described in court as a “parasite”, visited the Goughs’ home and convinced Keith to buy a nearby bungalow for £407,000 £407,000 – which he had already arranged to rent out to his lover for £300 per month.

He had previously been convicted of obtaining property by deception, while his mother had to remortgage her home to help pay off a £25,000 debt for him.

A friend of Keith, who did not wish to be named, said: “He always put a brave face on things but we all knew he was financially screwed. I know the stress of not being able to pay his way was weighing on his mind.”

Keith and Louise bought their winning ticket from a newsagent in Broseley, Shropshire.

Owner Barabara Homer said: “It was a great boost for the area and was really pleased. It’s something you can only dream of and you never think it will happen locally.”

Her husband John described Keith as “a lovely man”.

He said: “He was larger than life, a smashing bloke who will be sorely missed.

“It may sound strange, but winning the money was probably the worst thing that could have happened to him. It’s very sad.”

Local councillor Les Winwood, a friend of Keith, added: “He knew he’d made mistakes with the money but was never bitter and was a great man to know. He had a lot of friends.”

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