Lotto Winner Blew Fortune on Coke, Now Packs Cookies

By Bryan Le 07/12/13

The "Lotto Lout" who spent his winnings on cocaine and demolition derbies has turned over a new leaf.

michael carroll.jpg
He's cleaned himself of this life. Photo via

When a 19-year-old Michael Carroll won a £9.7 million ($14.4 million USD) UK lottery in 2002, he blew it all on drugs, gold jewelry, a mansion and prostitutes. But today he lives a less extravagant, more fulfilling life. Carroll was already a petty criminal when he became a teenage millionaire, collecting his winnings while wearing a police ankle monitor. “Before he won the lottery, he was a nuisance,” says Charles Joyce, a local official in Carroll's town. “He decided to carry on being a nuisance.” Carroll snorted cocaine through a solid gold pen, bought a mansion where he hosted demolition derbies and built a catapult to shoot at windows in the night—debauchery that earned him his nickname in the British tabloids: The "Lotto Lout." But Carroll's fortune ran dry in 2012 and he found himself broke, estranged from his daughter and contemplating suicide. “I camped out in the woods near Elgin [Scotland] because I had nowhere else to go and hadn’t started the job at the factory,” Carroll recalls. “Sitting there in the woods was when I first thought, I can sort myself out properly.” Today, he's happy making £204 (about $300 USD) a week, working in a shortbread cookie factory. “I treasure those wages more than any £9 million fortune,” Carroll says. “I’ve only got one chance left—I’d have been dead in six months if I’d carried on that lifestyle of drinking and drug taking.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter