If you were to win £3.6 million on a lottery draw, what would be the first thing you buy?
It could be a big old house in the country, a super-fast sports car, a once-in-a-lifetime holiday….those are perhaps the three most likely answers to the question.
But for EuroMillions winners Lee and Helen Kuchczynski, their first purchases as newly-minted millionaires were rather more humble.
The couple, from Lancashire in England, went out and acquired a new back scratcher….plus some cat litter for their four-legged friend!
“I bought a new backscratcher because I snapped my other, so I bought one worth £17 instead of £8,” Lee said.
Helen confirmed the story to be true, although admitted that since their down-to-earth initial spending they have now forked out on a new house and a rather handsome Audi RS4 Avant.
They won £3.6 million EuroMillions prize from the July 12 edition of the draw, although at first she confessed to thinking she was on the receiving end of a scam.
“As I handed the phone to our daughter, I said, ‘I’ve won something on the National Lottery, but I think the decimal point is in the wrong place so it’s probably a scam.’
“She looked at it, refreshed the app, refreshed it again and finally, turned to me and calmly said, ‘Mum, I really think it’s real, you need to ring the number.”
It was true – the Kuchczynskis’ numbers of 14, 18, 24, 25 and 50, plus the Lucky Star of 6, had all been drawn.
However, life has for the most part continued as normal, with the pair continuing to work full time – Lee as a HGV driver and Helen as a financial administrator.
The couple, married for 24 years, have always rented their home, but for Helen’s birthday they decided to buy their first ever property together.
“Instead of the usual Chinese takeaway in front of the telly to celebrate my birthday, we bought a whopping detached house with all the mod cons – it even has electric gates!”
What Do People Who Win the Lottery Buy First?
It goes without saying that property, flashy vehicles, holidays and jewellery top the list of purchased items by lottery winners.
Some opt for surgical procedures to ‘enhance’ the way they look, according to research, while for others simply paying off debts or gifting money to loved ones is at the top of the agenda.
Others have more sizable ambitions. John Kutey built his own water park after netting $28.7 million – £23.8 million – from the Mega Millions jackpot game in America back in 2011.
Jonathan Vargas created Wrestlelicious, a wrestling franchise featuring exclusively female athletes, when he notched $35 million on the Powerball in 2008. The show would last just one series.
And then there’s the cautionary tale of Evelyn Adams. Incredibly, the American won the lottery twice in back-to-back years, and feeling that she had some kind of divinity in her life she took her millions to the casinos of Atlantic City.
Some 20 years later, it’s been reported that Adams is broke and living in a trailer park. You win some, you lose some.