Burn the beg­ging let­ters, pre­vi­ous win­ners tell £115m lot­tery cou­ple

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Daniel Ham­mond

THE Lucky EuroMil­lions cou­ple who plan to share their £115 mil­lion wind­fall have been ad­vised by pre­vi­ous lot­tery win­ners to “burn” any let­ters if they do not recog­nise the sender.

Pa­trick and Frances Con­nolly have pledged to di­vide up their EuroMil­lions for­tune be­tween as many as 50 friends, rel­a­tives and char­i­ties af­ter claim­ing the £114,969,775 prize.

De­scribed by neigh­bours as a quiet unas­sum­ing cou­ple, Pa­trick, 54, and Frances, 52, be­came the fourth largest lot­tery win­ners in UK his­tory when they took the rare step of go­ing pub­lic on Fri­day, a de­ci­sion taken by just 15 per cent of win­ners.

The Con­nollys, from Moira, Co Down, have re­ceived praise for their gen­eros­ity as they pre­pare to help those clos­est to them peo­ple be­come overnight mil­lion­aires.

How­ever, former lot­tery win­ners warned the cou­ple they should now ex­pect an on­slaught of “beg­ging let­ters” as oth­ers at­tempt to cash in on their new­found wealth.

Former bus driver Peter Lav­ery, 56, from Belfast, said he was in­un­dated with fi­nan­cial re­quests af­ter his £10mil­lion lot­tery win in 1996.

“I got well over 9,000 let­ters ask­ing for help, money and so on,” he told The Belfast Tele­graph. “My best ad­vice? Burn them, ig­nore them, don’t open any­thing if you don’t know who it’s from. Just don’t be drawn in to that.”

Brian Caswell, 83, a re­tired sales man­ager from Bolton, Lancs, also cau­tioned against re­spond­ing to let­ters af­ter he scooped £24,951,269 on the EuroMil­lions in 2009.

He said: “We still get beg­ging let­ters, that never ceases, they have to re­mem­ber that beg­ging let­ters is a busi­ness. Out of ev­ery 50 maybe five are gen­uine. What’s the cost of a stamp, these days 50p? We had one from some­one who lived just around the cor­ner from us – at a meet­ing with other win­ners we found out the same guy had writ­ten to all of them.”

Si­mon Horne, from Camelot, said: “This is a very big win. I think the pre­sump­tion on the amount of beg­ging let­ters is at times an ur­ban myth, I’ve known sig­nif­i­cant lot­tery win­ners who have never re­ceived a let­ter.”

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