One of the biggest ever EuroMillions lottery winners was spending prize money at a rate of £100,000 (€110,000) a week, documents have revealed.
Colin Weir, who won a record-breaking £161m (€183m) in 2011, spent around £40m (€45m) of his winnings before his death in 2019 from sepsis and an “acute kidney injury”.
Mr Weir and his wife Christine, from Largs in North Ayrshire, became Scotland’s biggest lottery winners when they won the EuroMillions jackpot.
The pair divorced in 2018, with his wealth passed down to his two children following his death.
They became Europe’s second-biggest EuroMillions winners but lost the title when an anonymous individual in Italy won a jackpot worth €220m.
Before his lucky jackpot, Mr Weir had worked as a cameraman at Scottish broadcaster STV. His ex-wife Christine previously worked as a psychiatric nurse.
Mr Weir’s estate has reportedly found a wide range of investments for his EuroMillions winnings, including luxury property, cars and sporting investments, as well as establishing a charitable trust.
The couple’s charity, the Weir Charitable Trust, fell foul of a scam in 2015 where hoax emails were sent offering cash. Police Scotland were made aware of the scam and warned people to steer clear of suspicious emails.
It was reportedly the third time the Weirs had been targeted by fraudsters since their lottery win in 2011.
A supporter of the Scottish National Party, Mr Weir had donated to the party’s 2014 independence campaign, and continued financial contributions to the party thereafter. On his death, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “incredibly sad” to hear of the death.
“Colin’s determination and generosity in the cause of Scottish independence cannot be overstated and was hugely appreciated.
“The SNP and the independence movement has lost a true friend today and we will miss him dearly.”
Mr Weir’s garage contained a small fleet of luxury cars, including some of the world’s most sought-after and executive brands.
He is reported to have owned a a three-year-old Jaguar F-Pace SUV (€32,000), vintage Bentley Arnage (worth around €13,000), 2019 Mercedes Benz V Class people carrier (valued at around €40,000), and a four-year-old Mercedes Benz E Class Estate (€27,000).
Mr Weir also invested in horse-racing, owning three thoroughbreds, including geldings Knighted and Felony, and an Irish mare named If You Say Run.
Upon his death, it was recorded that he also owned jewellery, furniture and artwork valued at around €240,000.
The couple had bought a £3.5m (€4m) property named Frognal House, near Troon, South Ayrshire. The couple spent thousands renovating the property, but was signed over to his former wife after their divorce.
The couple reportedly initially bought the property after a ten-minute viewing, including all fixtures and fittings.
Mr Weir’s property investments also included a £1.1m (€1.3m) five-bedroom seafront home in Ayr, purchased in 2018 following his divorce.
Known as ‘The Mansions’ and built by Ashleigh Homes in 2005, the mansion became Mr Weir’s home ahead of his death.
Shortly before his death, Mr Weir bought a 55 per cent share of Partick Thistle Football Club, with intentions to return its ownership to the community.
In 2013, the couple had provided financial assistance to the club in order for them to begin their own youth academy, rebranded the Thistle Weir Youth Academy.
Papers from his estate have shown his council tax was £37.08 in credit and he held the maximum £50,000 in National Savings and Investments premium bonds.