Frances Connolly (55) and her husband Patrick of Hartlepool, northern England, won £115 million (about €180 million) in 2019 with EuroMillions. Together they agree on a budget that they give to charity each year, but Francis says he “already spent it until 2032”. Connolly estimates she has already made £60m – more than half of her earnings. “But I don’t follow it,” she jokes, “because I’d worry if my husband saw her.”
“Helping others gives you a thrill, it is addictive,” said the social worker and former teacher. She has since founded two charities: one named after her late mother Kathleen Graham in her native Northern Ireland, and PFC . trustShe is a foundation that supports young local caregivers, the elderly and refugees in her hometown.
shiver in luxury
The Connolly family bought themselves a six-bedroom, seven-acre home after winning it in Durham, but Mr. Connolly still drives a used Aston Martin. However, the idea that they would spend money on luxury yachts makes Frances Connelly shiver: “When I read that someone had spent £25,000 on a bottle of champagne, I immediately thought that with that money they could have helped a young man buy a house.”
“Why am I so happy to donate so much? Why not? I have done it all my life. Earning a huge amount of money can change someone’s life, but it does not change your personality. If you were stupid before, you will be stupid afterwards. Do I have any advice? For someone who also wins the lottery? Money sets you free to be the person you want to be.”