Hobbit Business Review

A Woman Who Won $187 Million in a Lottery Severed Ties With Her Family After She Said They Became ‘Demanding and Greedy’

Gillian Bayford and her then-husband won the equivalent of $187.5 million in a EuroMillions lottery in August 2012.

But the life-changing sum had unexpected consequences: it ruined some of the most important relationships in her life.

Bayford told The Sun that she gave roughly £20 million, about $25 million, to her family members but has since severed ties with them, even missing out on an invitation to her brother’s wedding.

“They have lost touch with where they’ve come from,” she said of her family in an interview.

Speaking to the Mirror late last month, Bayford, who lives in Scotland, said that soon after her win she started paying off debts that relatives had accumulated.

She told the Mirror that she had paid off the equivalent of $887,079 in debt that her father, who died in 2021, and brother owed due to failed business ventures.

She then continued to support her family financially, claiming that she purchased an apartment in Scotland for her parents, who had previously been living in a caravan, The Sun reported.

Nine months after receiving the prize money, her parents pushed her to give money to her brother, she told The Sun.

Bayford told the newspaper that she agreed to their request, giving him £800,000, or about $1 million, to start a new business.

But she said that soon after that he stopped talking to her and had a wedding which she wasn’t invited to, according to The Sun.

Despite offering her family financial help, Bayford told the newspaper that relationships dramatically deteriorated.

She no longer speaks to her mother, with The Times of London reporting in 2016 that she fell out with her parents because, she claimed, she was an embarrassment to them.

In an interview with the Mirror in 2016, Bayford’s mother, Brenda McCulloch, described feeling “sad” about the lack of contact with her daughter and grandchildren.

She said that while her daughter was “incredibly generous,” she disputed the £20 million sum, claiming it was a much lower amount they were given.

Bayford’s mother and brother did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, which was made via the company they own together.

Speaking to The Sun about her family, Bayford said: “They’re rubbing people’s noses in it by flashing their cash, which I think is downright nasty.”

In an earlier interview, which she gave to The Sun in 2016, she said: “It’s upsetting and raw. The money was supposed to make everybody happy. But it’s made them demanding and greedy.”

It’s not just relationships with her blood relatives that have soured. Bayford separated from her husband 15 months after the win, according to The Sun.

Her ex, Adrian Bayford, told The Daily Mail in 2013 that winning the lottery was “stressful” and the stress of managing their windfall meant they spent little time together.

He did not immediately respond to BI’s request for comment.

According to Emily Irwin, who works for Wells Fargo and advises lottery winners on how to spend their money, winning large sums of money can often complicate family dynamics.

She told Business Insider that winners should consider recruiting a family-dynamics coach to help navigate the difficult conversations with family members.

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