The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. When the couple bought this home for A?670,000 a€” with oodles of money to spare a€” they should have been set up for life. This spelled the end of their once-happy 14-year marriage a€” already brought to its knees by heated rows over their spending.There were ill-judged investments and business ventures a€” torpedoed by the recession a€” and the couple were plagued by plain bad luck. Then, one week after he moved out of the family home, Roger dropped a bombshell a€” every penny of their fortune was gone. The couple bought their dream home and two buy-to-let properties and invested in the stock-markets. Their marriage was put under further strain when Laraa€™s father Stuart, 71, fell ill and then died in 2009. Celebration: Roger and Lara Griffiths spent thousands on luxury holidays and private school feesa€?If hea€™d said to me a€?Look, Ia€™m unhappy, Ia€™m feeling unappreciateda€?, we could have worked on it. While few would decline the opportunity to take a chance, a lottery win, it seems, can shorten your life.
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The interest alone on the win at one point earned them A?340 a day.Rogera€™s gleaming new A?28,000 Porsche convertible was parked next to Laraa€™s Lexus 4x4, in which she ferried their daughters Ruby, nine, and Kitty, six, to their A?10,000-a-year private school.What could possibly go wrong? Worse still, they were in debt and their dream home had been used as security against loans to bail out the ailing beauty spa business they set up with lottery cash.
They ploughed A?200,000 into setting up the beauty salon, called The Spa Lounge, in Boston Spa.Roger gave up his A?38,000-a-year job to become a househusband, manage their investments and set about reviving his teenage dreams of rock stardom. Then disaster struck on New Yeara€™s Eve 2010, when a fire a€” which started in the utility room of their home a€” swept through the property, gutting it. I may have been horrible to him for a week, but I would have forgiven him anything because I loved him. The wealth of opportunities for parties and social drinking available to a jackpot winner can lead to serious long-term health problems, a study has found.
Researcher Andrew Clark, of the Paris School of Economics, said: 'Winning big does indeed improve mental health. Its stall speed of 65 is pretty hot for a small plane, but I guess that's the trade off for the performance. He used to spend A?2 every week, placing his bet on the internet.a€?Roger always used to say hea€™d win the lottery one day and that it would be his pension fund, but when it actually happened it was a shock,a€™ says Lara.


He splashed out A?4,000 on new guitars and A?25,000 on making a record with the band he played in at university.
Lara is making plans for the family without him.Roger Griffiths, who now lives alone in Harrogate and drives a borrowed Mazda, told the Mail last night that he was a€?ashameda€™ of the emails his ex-wife found on his computer, but denied being unfaithful, and declined to talk further about his private life.
It suggests that the bigger the prize, the riskier the winner's behaviour is likely to become. The Porsche disappeared, with Roger in it, 18 months ago a€” six years after their win a€” after Lara confronted him over emails she found on his computer suggesting he was interested in another woman a€” something he strongly denies.
He said he accepted responsibility for the couplea€™s financial situation, but explained that Lara had never shown much interest in meetings with their advisers and accountants a€” preferring to leave it to him.a€?Lara is a brilliant mother and was a wonderful partner to me. Those who win more, smoke more and engage in more social drinking.' The research goes against the accepted wisdom that higher income is linked with better health. Ia€™m not even back to square one, Ia€™m much worse off than before the win,a€™ she says.Roger handled all the finances and investments, leaving Lara a€” who admits she signed financial documents without reading them properly, let alone understanding them a€” to run the spa. My husband was asking for a womana€™s telephone number and his friend seemed to be encouraging him.
Dr Dorothy Rowe, a psychologist and author of The Real Meaning of Money, said a sudden windfall could worsen existing problems.
Our marriage had been going wrong for some time and the strain of our financial situation did not help,a€™ he said.a€?Ita€™s true to say the lottery win affected our relationship for the worse. How long will it last?a€? We were always stressed,a€™ says Lara.a€?We were so desperate not to mess it up, and ita€™s very difficult when you have advisers coming to you in their shiny suits and flash cars saying a€?Ia€™ll look after you, trust mea€?. I was sure that any minute hea€™d turn up, bang the door down and say a€?Sorry, please forgive mea€?, but he didna€™t, he just disappeared.a€™A week later Roger did return home, but not for the reconciliation Lara was hoping for.
Before, we were a team, treading parallel paths, and after, we started pulling in completely different directions.a€?Ours is a really a cautionary tale.
Rogera€™s idea was that we would both give up our jobs and live off the money, spending very little of it, but Ia€™ve always been a worker and didna€™t want to give that up,a€™ says Lara. Who do you trust?a€™She adds: a€?We were told not to put all our eggs in one basket, so we decided to invest in property and business. If the property isna€™t sold soon, it will be repossessed and Lara will have to move back in with her mum, Norma, 76, who is helping to support her daughter both emotionally and financially.As for Roger, 42, he revealed to a newspaper this week that he was stony broke, with just A?7 to his name, and was also surviving on the bank of Mum and Dad, having blown his windfall. We thought we were doing everything right.a€?We followed the rules, but I think Roger found it impossible to filter all the information and I dona€™t think he was very good at taking his ego out of the equation. If this can happen to us, it can happen to anyone.a€™Remarkably, Lara says she doesna€™t regret the lottery win.


But he was soon bingeing on whisky, and when he died aged 58 in 2002 the cause was given as self-neglect.
Blaming the recession and the banking crisis for crippling the business ventures they set up and draining their investments, the former IT manager said: a€?I had it all, but ita€™s gone. I thought we should put some aside just to spend on stuff you dona€™t need, stuff you dona€™t really want, because whoever getsA  the chance to do that?a€™ she says.
Former bin man Michael Carroll, who won A?9.7million in 2002, was dubbed the 'Lotto Lout' for his excessive partying and drug-taking. I feel ashamed to say this, but I havena€™t been smart enough to make it work.a€™ As a result, his ex-wife Lara has had to sell off all her treasured possessions, including her lottery-funded collection of designer handbags, to help feed the children, who now attend a state school. He was shouting at me, telling me I was an idiot and pathetic, then he just left.a€?I was hysterical.
She blames Roger, rather than the recession, for that.a€?He just walked out, leaving me to deal with the mess,a€™ she says. He wrote in his autobiography: 'We had sword fights with real swords and drank ourselves into a stupor.
To earn a living, she works all the hours God sends as a beauty technician in the spa the couple used to own, but were forced to sell after losing at least A?500,000 on it. I tried calling him, but his phone was dead, and when I tried to contact him on Facebook he had blocked me.
The girls served us cocaine on silver platters.' He was jailed in 2004 after failing to comply with a drug treatment order, and received a further sentence after he went on the rampage with a baseball bat at a music festival. The encroaching poverty would have been bearable, Lara says, had she and Roger faced it together, but the lottery win turned him into a stranger to her. So no, in the circumstances, I wouldna€™t let him stay,a€™ says Lara.A week later they met again to talk things through. In short, it destroyed their marriage.a€?I married Roger because he was a very kind and thoughtful man. He looked after me and worshipped our girls a€” he was a brilliant dad,a€™ says Lara, the daughter of a deputy head teacher, who met Roger when they were both students at Lancaster University.



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