A Good kind of addiction?

What would you do if winning a multi-million lottery jackpot? Would it just be a case of going out and buying luxury goods to take with you on your endless stream of holidays? Or would you use your winnings to help others?

Frances Connolly won a £115 million EuroMillions jackpot in 2019. There have been some winners who have had a tough time and ended up addicted to something or another. This lottery winner says she is addicted to donating her windfall to other people.

At the start of each year, Frances and her husband Paddy work out a budget. It decides how much money will be donated that year. By the end of April, Frances had already given away the 2022 budget. It’s worse than that though as the amounts donated have equalled the amount that was supposed to last until the year 2032.

Frances doesn’t keep a list of just how much of her EuroMillions winnings have been donated. She fears that if that was the case her husband would find it and not be too delighted. Her estimate is that £60 million has been given to others.

The 55-year-old has set up two charitable foundations. One is based in Northern Ireland and named after her late mother. The other one is the PFC Trust set up in Hartlepool which has been her home for the past 30 years. This helps elderly people, local young carers and refugees.

Her decision to use a EuroMillions win to help others was made even before the jackpot was won. A list of family and friends who could be helped had already been drawn up. Talking about her big win, Frances once said: “Who needs all that money?”

The EuroMillions winner says that making the donations gives her a buzz. “I’m addicted to it now,” she admits.

A new home was bought with her winnings but also two caravans. The latter are used by young carers so they can have some respite breaks. Frances did buy a car but it’s a second-hand Aston Martin.

December 2020 saw a €200 million EuroMillions jackpot won by a French player. We only know him as ‘Guy’ but like Frances, he’d been planning on how a big win would be spent.

He also created a foundation and this one aims to help protect the planet. Work includes forest conservation, support for human caregivers and the revitalization of biodiversity.

The EuroMillions winner wrote an open letter on the Anyama website. It told how “giving makes people happy.” He hopes his foundation will see “concrete and useful actions” take place.

‘Guy’ only played EuroMillions when there were “important jackpots.” He dreamed of winning the top prize so he could set up his charitable foundation and that’s just what happened. Maybe he’ll try to win another “important” jackpot on Tuesday May 3 when the EuroMillions jackpot is £145 million.