This couple had a brief taste of the finer things in life, going from unemployed to winning the lottery.
They didn’t save any of it, however, and within a year the $72,000 they won was gone. Now they’re looking for some financial assistance.
According to The Mirror, the couple won the lottery in late 2014, spent the money on designer clothes, furniture, vacations, and a TV, then by late 2015 the money was gone and they could no longer afford their apartment. While they hoped to receive housing benefits and income support from the government, they got quite the reality check.
They admit they were “silly” with their earnings, but felt they deserved the items they bought. Jamie Hort explained how they blew through the cash so fast: “When we first won the money, we were very excited and we helped sort our family out with some money and went shopping. We had no other income source so the money was going on things like food. Sometimes we were spending £70 a day on food. We were a bit silly with it, it could have lasted a lot longer, I’ll admit that. But all we want now is some help.”
Their application for assistance was turned down because the Social Security department said the couple couldn’t account for $35,000 of their lottery winnings.
Abbie noted, “This has been going on for a few months but no-one is helping us. The social are also saying that even if we did get some help in future it would only be half of what we used to get.”
She added that finding jobs has been difficult, explaining: “We need to pay the rent on Friday or we are going to be kicked out. Neither of us have jobs. I am trying to get work. My husband is a scaffolder but there is no work around at the moment.
She further noted that the lottery winnings were spent on a variety of things: “We helped our family out and went on one holiday to Jersey to do some shopping. We moved in to a one bedroom flat but it had nothing in it. When we won the lottery we had to start from scratch. We bought a sofa, wardrobe, chest of drawers, fridge, televisions, and cutlery.”
Abbie continued: “We bought a few bits of clothing – my husband likes designer clothing so bought some Diesel, Ralph Lauren and Franklin & Marshall items. But we won the lottery so we deserved to buy nice stuff. The couch and the furniture and everything else couldn’t fit into the new place so that has now all gone.”
Sadly, she said, when times got tough, “We had to sell it to live and get food. All we have left is the television and my husband has some nice designer clothes. The TV, which is a Sharp flatscreen 50 inch model is pretty much all we have got left now.”
Jamie noted that things are tight and with Christmas soon approaching, that means they won’t have the money for more than one gift for each of their children. He explained: “It’s horrible – I hate asking my mum to get us things like milk and bread. It’s heartbreaking. We are hoping they [Social Security] will help us.”