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Saturday, July 16, 2011

We're as rich as the Beckhams! £161m winners join the jet set and promise they will have 'so much fun'

-'We're not scared of this, we're just going to have fun' say lottery winners
-Colin and Christine Weir, from Largs, in Ayrshire, win Euromillions jackpot
-They live in three-bedroom detached house and drive two Suzukis
-Couple had kept their mega win a complete secret since Tuesday's draw
-Married with two children from small Scottish seaside town
-They will earn £5m a year in interest alone - or £10 every minute
-But world's biggest ever lottery winner Andrew Whittaker scooped £195m in West Virginia, U.S., in 2002

By Daily Mail Reporter

Colin and Christine Weir celebrate by opening a bottle of bubbly. Christine revealed she opened some wine after winning the jackpot - even though she doesn't drink

They eat at their local chippy three times a week and occasionally splash out on a bottle of Coke or Irn Bru.

But in an instant, Colin and Christine Weir had a champagne lifestyle within their grasp as they became almost as rich as the Beckhams.

The £161million EuroMillions prize money was deposited into their account after their numbers came up in Tuesday’s draw, making them the largest jackpot winners in Britain.

All smiles: Colin Weir, 64, and his wife Christine, 55, who have scooped the £161million jackpot said it 'felt like a dream' to have won

Sealed with a kiss: Colin and Chris Weir appear before the media. the couple, who have two adult children, have been married for 30 years

And the couple, who have been married for 30 years, said they were ‘not scared’ of the wealth because they were going to have ‘so much fun’ with the money – which for Mr Weir means shopping for a private box at Barcelona’s stadium in Spain.

The 64-year-old also joked that he and his wife, 55, might ‘try for another kid’ now they were as wealthy as the Beckhams, who welcomed their fourth child this week.

With a combined fortune of £165million, David and Victoria Beckham are only a fraction better-off than the Weirs, and occupy 420th place on the Sunday Times Rich List.

However, despite the couple’s pledge to have fun with their winnings, it seems they won’t entirely be subscribing to the showbiz way of life.

The down-to-earth pair said today they would to travel to China and Australia and buy houses and cars for their children

They suggested they will keep their £200,000 ‘nice wee house’ with three bedrooms as their main home – and Mr Weir even said he could see no reason to replace their cars, two bargain-priced Suzukis five and three years old.

‘I don’t think we’ll be immediately swapping cars,’ he said. ‘If you’ve got reliable cars, what’s the point?’

Mrs Weir seemed to be relaxing her grip on their win a little more than her husband, however, when she interjected with: ‘I’ll be swapping cars.’

The money involved should not be an issue, regardless of whether she fancies a Bentley or a Lamborghini – as the Weirs are now earning an estimated £7,000 a day in interest on their jackpot.

The pair, a retired TV cameraman and a retired psychiatric nurse, from Largs, in Ayrshire, added that they were planning to take a lot of advice before deciding what to do with their newfound wealth.

Neighbours described their only hobby as ‘takeaways’ with their favourite being the town’s Fish and Chicken Bar.

One worker there said: ‘They come in here three times a week. They always have fish and chips and either a bottle of Coke or Irn Bru. But they have never ordered a battered Mars bar.’

Mrs Weir said their children Carly, 24, a photography student, and Jamie, 22, a call centre worker, would be bought their own homes and cars. Once they have had their driving lessons paid for, that is.

Colin and Chris Weir suddenly find themselves the centre of attention in Largs

Modest: Mr and Mrs Weir's three-bedroom detached home with their two Suzuki cars parked outside in Largs, Ayrshire

Asked whether the win made their single son Scotland’s most eligible bachelor, she added: ‘He’s a very good-looking boy.’

And travel was the one area the couple seemed to have dared to dream about – talking of flying to Australia, the Great Wall of China, Thailand and Cambodia, with Mrs Weir daringly suggesting they would fly ‘at least business class’.

At a press conference staged by lottery organiser Camelot in a hotel in Falkirk, the couple, who were both using walking sticks, told how they first learned of their win of £161,653,000. The jackpot had rolled over 14 times to reach its maximum of 185million Euros when the draw was carried out on Tuesday night. Up came the winning numbers 17, 19, 38, 42 and 45, and the Lucky Stars 9 and 10.

Mrs Weir, who chose to go public with her husband because they feared secrecy would involve lying to relatives, said: ‘We had enjoyed a normal night in front of the TV watching CSI and so on.

‘At around midnight I decided it was time to turn in – but I did just quickly check the EuroMillions result on Teletext in our bedroom.

The McColl's store in Largs, Ayrshire, where Colin and Christine bought their £161million winning ticket

This is the small Scottish town of Largs in Ayrshire where £161million winners live in a three-bedroom detached house

Colin and Christine Weir come from the small coastal town of Largs, in North Ayrshire, it was revealed today

‘We had bought five Lucky Dips as the jackpot was now so big. I started circling the numbers I had matched but wasn’t doing very well. Then, on the fifth line, all the circles seemed to join up.

‘I had all of them but couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I checked them three or four times before going back downstairs to find Colin.’

The couple were too excited to sleep, so waited up for the Camelot lottery offices to open the following morning.

Mrs Weir added: ‘We sat up all night and saw dawn come round the next morning – we were tickled pink. I even had a glass of white wine which is something I normally only do at Christmas.

‘On Wednesday morning the world was totally different for us. It really is unbelievable. But at the same time we’re not scared of it – it’s going to be so much fun.’

The couple finally spoke to Camelot officials when the lottery offices opened at 9am, and said the staff sounded almost as excited as they were.

Neighbour David Simpson, 82, said: ‘They’re nice people and I’m happy for them.

‘They own several properties that they let out on the isle. I think these are flats in tenements and it gave them a good income. Maybe they will go into the property game again.’

What you could buy with £161m
1 penthouse at One Hyde Park. Currently the most expensive home in London, the apartment costs £140million and comes with bullet-proof windows and a view of the Serpentine
£500,000 Bill for hiring Rihanna for a celebration party
£123m Cost of the world’s 12th-largest yacht, Octopus. The 414ft yacht has two helicopters, two submarines and a jetski dock
178m deep-fried Mars bars. Synonymous with Scotland, they cost 90p each
£32,000 Two first-class round-the-world air tickets for a trip taking in Paris, China and Australia. The pair, who have said they want to travel, could make the journey more than 5,000 times

22m News International shares Current cost, 709p each
10 of the most expensive watches in the world – a £15million diamond-encrusted Chopard timepiece

£1.2m Price of an Aston Martin One-77. It is the world’s most expensive road car and only 77 have been made

£2.5m Cost of nearby island Ailsa Craig in the outer Firth of Clyde, Scotland. But for better weather, 37-acre private island Paradise in the Bahamas is available for £47million.


People might think that winning £161 million would mean the end of their woes but a psychologist said today that the money is more likely to create problems.

Paddy O'Donnell, psychology professor at the University of Glasgow, said that winning such a large windfall creates an 'enormous disruptive effect' which can change friendships and family relations.

He said winners would experience an initial surge of happiness but that within a few months this would probably drop back to the level of contentment they felt before their windfall.

His comments came after Colin and Christine Weir scooped the £161 million jackpot on Tuesday night, the largest in Europe.

One of the challenges facing those who win huge sums is the experience of being catapulted into the league of the super-rich without the skills to deal with it.

Professor O'Donnell said: 'When you get £161million you can't improve your present life because you are disrupting your present life. You face questions like: should you live in a different part of town or abroad?

'But when you live in a wealthy area or abroad, how are you going to cope with the people you might meet in that environment? £161million doesn't give you the social skills to mix with Rupert Murdoch or Richard Branson.

'It's like marrying a prince or a princess: you still have to cope with the in-laws and you are in a social environment which is alien to you.'

Winning such a large amount can also strain friendships because the dynamic of the relationships shift.

Dealing with begging letters from friends and charities is likely to be another challenge, as is deciding how to spend or invest the money wisely.

Most people's happiness runs at a constant level and money does not have that much impact on it beyond a certain financial level, he said.

According to Prof O'Donnell, someone earning £25,000 a year would be more or less as happy as someone earning £250,000 a year.

He added: 'If you ask people how they would feel if they won the lottery, everybody says 'I would feel superb. I would be happy for the rest of my life.'

source: dailymail


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