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Couple Becomes Filthy Rich After Winning The Lottery And Then The Disaster Strikes

Think winning the lottery is all joy and a lavish lifestyle? Sure, those things are a part of the experience of being a winner. But that’s just one way of looking at things. There is also a darker side. With that much money comes a mountain of responsibility. Let’s take a look how a bunch of strange decisions led Roger and Lara down a slippery slope.

Your everyday couple

Roger and Lara were just an ordinary couple. Residing in West Yorkshire, they were your classic working-class couple. Even the form of their family was classic. The marriage gave them two beautiful kids. Out of the blue, one day, everything changed. One event changed their lives forever and propelled them to global superstardom… Hold on….

Collect = Lara and Roger Griffiths - their wedding in 1997. at a church in Batley. Shoot for Femail featuring Lara Griffiths about a lottery win. Shot by Claire Wood on 19.03.2013

Not so bad, we might add

The two weren’t quite poor. Both of them worked hard to get their college degree and were reaping the benefits of it. Roger was a successful IT technician and Lara was a teacher. Their combined salaries were around $100000. This is very good, even in Britain. Despite the good situation and everything, their lives turned upside down.


Winning is always an option

Many people play the lottery around the world. It’s quite honestly one of the best feelings ever. A no brainer, even. Who would spend a dollar or two for a chance to win tens of millions? The loss you won’t feel and the winnings could change your life. Because the chances are so low, we mostly play for the thrill and the adrenaline rush. But, sometimes, the odds are tilted in our favor…

Collect = Lara and Roger Griffiths on holiday in Miami in March 2011 (6 months before leaving). On Rogers 40th birthday. Shoot for Femail featuring Lara Griffiths about a lottery win. Shot by Claire Wood on 19.03.2013

The bull’s-eye

Roger and Lara weren’t doing anything special, to be frank. Their jobs and kids were the center of their lives. To break the habit and the boredom, they loved playing the lottery. Spending one pound on a ticket is basically spare change. It’s cheap enough to be able to participate. If you don’t win, there’s always next week. If you do, however, then it’s a different story.


How did that happen?

So, one day, Roger walked into a store and bought a ticket like he always does. Both of them did it after work, both alone and together. It was their tradition. When the numbers were drawn they loved to see how did they fare. One day, in October 2005, Roger almost had a heart attack. The ticket was a winning one! He literally got $2.4 million with just a simple store purchase!


A unique celebration

Winning the lottery is rare, but it happens. There are even manuals for people who manage do so. The usual modus operandi is hiring a financial advisor and investing the money. Telling your family is an option too. Roger and Lara had none of that. They bought a bottle of cheap champagne, ordered Indian take out and celebrated at home. Nice one!


Keeping quiet is the best option

The sad thing about today’s society is that people seek validation from others. This is the case when people win the lottery too. There is no worse thing than going on television and bragging to all your friends and strangers. The best way to see if someone is your friend is to have money near them. An even worst thing is to have criminals extort money from you.


 Not so wise

Lara and Roger did the absolute worst thing upon taking the winnings. They immediately quit their jobs. They felt that they were rich enough not to care about regular earnings. Upon doing what they did was a feeling of liberation. The entire world was open to them. They didn’t have to get up early in the morning every day and had no obstacles on their way to their dreams. They were in for a rude awakening…


 Things started crumbling down

Most people are more enamored by the thought of winning the lottery. They never realize that the money they got is finite. Quitting your job only strips you of financial security. By not having an income stream, you doom yourself. It’s only a matter of time before people start leeching and every cent goes away the moment it arrives.


A financial adviser is your savior

Having a financial adviser can be your only hope of not burning through the money. These people have experiences with lottery winners and very rich people. They know how to make money grow and how to spend it slowly and efficiently. Financial advisers will deal with the riches and you will have less stress on your mind. Many winners ignore these guidelines and instead go and tell their family and friends.


Already well off

Even before winning the lottery, the family lived quite nice. They were living in the town of Boston Space, near Leeds and York. They had a good, four-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood. They had absolutely no need to switch it for something flashier. On top of all that, they were living peacefully because they knew they were able to pay off their mortgage.


Off the leash

Roger and Lara really acted like they were dogs off the leash. Instead of thinking rationally and for the sake of their family, they went wild. When they won the lottery, the immediate thought of all the things they never had. In the first ten days, they already blew $20000. Included were an Audi convertible and a trip to Dubai, with a stay in a five-star hotel.


An upgraded residence

The couple thought they had enough of the old house and they wanted a new one. They were invited to a reality show called Location Location, centered around house hunting. Roger and Lara were featured in a special lotto winners episode. They found a really futuristic place in the countryside. One would they that they’ve had enough, right? Sure, but this was just the beginning.


 Laziness leads to additional expenses

When Roger and Lara bought the new hose, it was completely empty. This means they had to bring their old furniture with them? In normal cases, yes. But in this case, Roger and Lara were so crazy that they wanted to buy all new furniture for the entire mansion. This included pieces from top of the line retailers. In total, the furnishing of the house cost them a total of $33000.


 More expenses

Because the house they wanted was a former barn, they needed to refurbish.  This meant that a lot of money had to be spent. Putting in insulation, repainting both the inside and the outside and putting in AC all had to be done. This doesn’t even include all kinds of bathroom and kitchen fixes. This little endeavor cost Roger and Lara another $25000.


More financial waste

Now that they didn’t have their jobs, Roger and Lara wanted to do whatever they wanted. This included insane vacations that are only taken by celebrities and millionaires. One of the things they started doing was staying at a London hotel, called the One Aldwych. The problem? Well, a single night at such a hotel costs a whopping 400 dollars. So much for their old way of life.


Shopping sprees

London is a great place for both fun and education. You will be enamored with the museums and the Buckingham Palace guards. What next? Well, shopping, duh! Lara took this a little bit too seriously. She started dressing entirely in high fashion and throwing money like crazy. In the blink of an eye, she started dressing entirely in Louis Vuitton. Sheesh.


Even the kids got a piece

Of course, when you have kids, you want to please them too. Roger and Lara were now even more willing to give their girls the best of everything.  They decided immediately to send the girls to a posh private school. Such facilities house members of the Royal Family, celebrity children, and others. The price per year is a whopping $26.500. Such a price is spare change for Royalty, but not for Roger and Lara.


Fun for everyone

Roger and Lara still wanted to spend some money on their own bodies. Lara felt insecure and started getting 350 dollar botox injections. She did so so she could look better for her beloved Roger. And what did he do? He decided to return the favor and become completely covered in tattoos. The cost? Nothing much, a few thousand dollars here and there. He even tattooed Lara’s name on his body.


Money plans

Roger wasn’t totally careless, to be honest. He viewed his money as an opportunity to make it grow even further. To do so, he has several good business ideas. One of them was to buy a beauty parlor in Northern England. By owning such a place, he and Lara would have a nice flow of money every month. He didn’t stop there, either. Thinking the housing market will grow even more, he bought another house.


Dreams of fame and fortune

Roger’s biggest dream was to be the front-man of a famous rock band. He now looked like a rock star too, because of the tattoos and the piercings. To rekindle his dreams, he invited his old college bandmates to London to record. They stayed at a very fancy hotel in the city center. By doing this, they hoped to get a gig every now and then. An additional expense was the $1500 a month Roger paid to a publicist.


A major fail

Even though he had really high hopes, Roger failed miserably. When he released his first single, it didn’t go quite as planned. It sold barely, amassing sales of only 600 copies. What’s even worse is that he spent a total of $33.000 just to record this flop of an album. Despite all that, Lara was immensely proud of her rock star husband. She praised him for going after his dream and never giving up.


More money more problems

Winning the lottery isn’t all fun and games. Having such an immense amount of money is a big responsibility. The statistics support this claim. Over 30% of lottery winners face bankruptcy after only a few years. This means that they are in a worse financial situation than ever before. Others literally go insane and isolate themselves from everyone. Having that much money is big pressure for anyone.


No steady flow of income

Roger and Lara made a big mistake with the beauty parlor scheme. They thought it would be a good passive income stream. Instead, it brought them a ton of problems on top of the existing ones. Their investment was losing them $5000 every month. They didn’t want to sell the parlor. Somehow, they felt that putting even more money into it would bring them a fortune after some time.



You all know about the famous 2008 US housing market crash, right? Well, it didn’t only resonate in the States. It was felt in the entire world, and Britain too. Remember that house that Lara and Roger bought to make money? Its value plummeted and the couple was left with less and less money every day. As the market was brought down, so was the family’s bank account.


Saving a bit

After winning $2.4 million, they were down to $900.000 only four years later. This would shock some people and cause them to rethink their priorities. Roger and Lara? Not so much. Their version of saving up was still going to an exotic location, but staying in slightly cheaper hotels. Another way for them to save money was to buy less expensive alcohol. Although it wasn’t a lot, they still made a slight improvement. Who knew…


Tragedy strikes

Lara and Roger weren’t getting along so well. Their marriage was slowly falling apart for multiple reasons. Roger quit his job and just slept and drank. Lara wasn’t so lazy, she worked 60 hours a week to maintain their beauty parlor. Money was a problem from the beginning, but something worse happened. Lara’s beloved father, Stuart, passed away that year. It all started crashing down from there.


It just wasn’t going to stop

Things weren’t stagnant in other fields of their life. A rough period got even rougher. Just when Christmas period was over, the boiler room in their house exploded. The fire started spreading quickly and engulfed their home in a matter of minutes. It was such a bad accident that the house was completely destroyed. They couldn’t live in it and had to rent another expensive mansion.


 Addiction to cash

Money is just like a drug. You get used to the feeling of having and it starts leeching on other parts of your life. People have a hard time of coping with a sudden difference in financial status. After years of lavish life, Roger started experiencing the same thing. After realizing that they were slowly going down the road of bankruptcy, he became depressed. So strong was his depression that he locked himself in his study.


Roger was losing it

Despite all the existing trouble, it could still get a lot worse. Roger was mentally unstable and started acting like he was. Lara started becoming suspicious about her once beloved husband. She was going through his emails and saw a conversation with another woman. She somehow knew that something like this was going to happen sooner or later. Lara decided to end the marriage after 14 long years.


Not so fast

After the big argument, Roger returned home. He started shouting and packing his bags at the same time. As he was telling Lara how pathetic and idiotic she was, he slammed the door shut and ran off. Lara was furious because he turned off his phone and disappeared without a trace. She still doesn’t have a clue about whether he had an affair or not. He simply refuses to talk about it.



Lara just couldn’t understand why Roger did what he did. He could have been honest and asked her to try to work on things. She may have been horrible to him for a short time period but she loved him. Everything is fixable, according to Lara. She doesn’t believe in divorce. After leaving, Roger hit her up after an hour and disappeared for three days.


Roger strikes back

Things weren’t so good on Roger’s side. His response to Lara was extremely cold and heartless. He stated that he wasn’t happy for a long, long time and that he didn’t see a future for him and Lara. The reason for this is because she was too controlling and miserable. He didn’t even say he loved her or that he would miss her. All of a sudden, the years together and the kids didn’t mean anything to him.


A dream in shambles

Roger stated that he dreaded coming home. Lara was so depressed and in a bad mood that she altered the entire atmosphere at home. Roger was having none of that. He was growing colder and colder and saying that he doesn’t love her anymore. Despite all that has happened, Lara still felt love towards her estranged husband. Some things are just not meant to last.


They didn’t see it coming

Both Roger and Lara were from good families and were well-educated. All that wisdom couldn’t have prepared them for winning a large sum of money. They were never wealthy and had no idea how to manage such amounts of cash. They went crazy and disregarded they future at the price of temporary fun. The funny thing is that Roger always wanted the lottery winnings to be his pension fund.


 A dose of denial

Roger gave an interview a while ago. It was an interesting piece, for sure. He gave his side of the story and it didn’t depict Lara as a loving wife. He accused her of being spoiled and spending too much. Her meltdowns were also a frequent thing. Because of such behavior, he decided to abandon their marriage. It kills him not to be with his daughters. He could have stayed, but it would be detrimental to his mental health.


The curtain call

Lara was in a tough position. She was attacked by her work. Roger’s infidelity and depression and her own depression at the same time. After fourteen years of marriage, she decided enough was enough. She took the kids and tore the family apart. Roger didn’t take it lightly. The girls were an integral part of his life and losing them tore him to shreds.

Collect = Roger and Lara Griffiths on holiday in Palma Majorca in August 2011. ! month before he left the family. Shoot for Femail featuring Lara Griffiths about a lottery win. Shot by Claire Wood on 19.03.2013

Salvaging what they could

Before splitting, Roger and Lara began selling off everything they had. All of their investment properties and houses were being sold at a much lower price than the market one. After years of dumb business decisions and mismanagement, it was high time that something like this happened. One of their properties was even repossessed by the bank because of late payments.

Shoot for Femail featuring Lara Griffiths about a lottery win. Shot by Claire Wood on 19.03.2013

They lost the house, too

On top of all that, Roger and Lara still have massive debts to pay off. Amongst those debts is thousands of dollars they got themselves in for the spa business. In order to pay that off, their house was seized. People feel that people who won the lottery don’t deserve sympathy. This is because they didn’t earn, but it’s a wrong way of looking at things.


What happened after all that

Roger is now devastated, both mentally and financially. Because he was in such a tough place, he had to sell off all his expensive clothes. That didn’t earn him much. He still had to find work because he was struggling financially. Finding work after not working for a decade is tough. Besides, everyone knows his story and wouldn’t hire his so easily.


 Happy endings?

Both Roger and Lara found new partners for life. It seems like both of them are happy in their own. Lara’s Facebook shows her kissing an unknown young guy, while crazy Roger tied the knot again. His new partner is a gorgeous woman named Samantha Major. They live together while Samantha has her own cosmetics business.


 Roger found his peace

Roger and Samatha are real sweethearts. She is a leading entrepreneur in the cosmetics business and her endeavors are going well. They live peacefully and privately. When asked about his past, Roger doesn’t regret a thing. He was living the life of a rockstar while he could. His advice to everyone who wins the lottery is to follow his footsteps.


She still reminisces

Lara isn’t quite so happy. From time to time, she falls into a dark place and starts having flashbacks. She asks herself “Where did it all go wrong?” Winning the Lottery should be a happy even that makes dreams come true. There wasn’t a time when she didn’t want Roger to come crawling back to her. Unfortunately, that never happened. He disappeared.


Keeping quiet

When you win the Lottery, it’s important to keep quiet. Sometimes, it’s not even safe to tell your family. You never know who will spill the beans to other people. In a matter of minutes, your money could become a thing of the past. This is especially hard to do nowadays, especially in the era of social media. Staying safe and private should be of the utmost importance.


Lottery as a benefit for kids

Many states in the US have a high lottery winnings tax. Why is this the case? Well, because the money is in hundreds of billions, it can be put to good use. Much of this tax money goes into various education funds around the country. Even if you lose, all that money goes into education. Think of all the people spending thousands of dollars on it on a yearly basis. It goes to our kids.


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