A lottery winner who claimed her £27million jackpot ruined her life has been found dead by police at her £125,000 home.
Margaret Loughrey, 56, scooped the EuroMillions top prize eight years ago but famously said it had ‘destroyed her’.
She bought the ticket that landed the windfall when she was walking back from the Job Centre, living on benefits of just £58-a-week.
Her good luck saw Ms Loughrey dubbed ‘Maggie Millions’ and allowed her to buy a property empire including a £125,000 bungalow, a pub and a former mill turned leisure centre – and give at least half away to good causes.
But she was sectioned four months after the draw and later described life as a multi-millionaire as ‘If there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad’.
Ms Loughrey later claimed people had ‘stolen millions’ from her adding ‘I regret winning the lottery, of course I do. I was a happy person before. I am a human being and all it has done is destroy my life.’
At the most recent count she said she only had £5million left and remarked ‘You can’t take your money with you. There is no shroud with pockets.’
Her sudden death is not being treated as suspicious and is a tragic end to her years of troubles.
She is not thought to have ever married but is survived by her four brothers and sister.
When she won the lottery she had been at the Job Centre living on benefits of just £58-a-week and got ticket on a whim
Ms Loughrey – known affectionately as ‘Maggie Millions – was found dead by police at home this morning after reports
The lottery winner had stayed living in her £125,000 bungalow, despite her fortune, and it was here and ambulance also went
Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland rushed to her home in Strabane this morning after reports she had died suddenly.
The ambulance were also called but nothing could be done and she was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Ms Loughrey landed the huge win after matching five numbers and two lucky stars in the draw in November 2013, scooping £26,863,588.
Her neighbour and local councillor Paul Gallagher told reporters the town was in shock at the unexpected tragedy.
He said: ‘Margaret was well known and did a lot of good, charitable work around the town.
‘People are shocked today.’
A PSNI spokesman would only say: ‘Police received a report of the sudden death of a woman at the Ballycolman Lane area of Strabane on Thursday September 2.
‘A post-mortem is due to take place but at this stage, the death is not being treated as suspicious.’
In 2019 she said of her experience of wealth: ‘If there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad’ in an interview
Ms Loughrey landed the huge win after matching five numbers and two lucky stars but had years of troubles since, pictured here outside court after being convicted of assaulting a taxi driver
Lottery win was celebrated by locals
Shop assistant, Nadine O’Kane, handed Ms Loughrey the slip with the numbers 19, 23, 27, 42 and 44 with Lucky Stars 3 and 5.
Miss O’Kane told the Irish Daily Mail: ‘Its nice to see it happen to her.
‘I didn’t know her.
‘I only found out on Sunday after I was told to come into work to get my picture taken.’
Local SuperValu store manager Colm Gallagher said: ‘I don’t know what Margaret’s going to do with the money but I wish her all the best with it.’
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service confirmed they also attended the house on Thursday morning.
A NIAS spokesman said: ‘We were called to an emergency in the Ballycolman area of Strabane at 10.30am this morning. No patients were taken from the scene.’
The lottery win brought Ms Loughrey nothing but trouble and she vowed to spread her good fortune around.
She said at the time: ‘No point having £27m and being lonely. That can’t make me happy, that can only make me happy that everybody else’s happy and so far everybody is absolutely delighted.’
But within four months of the win she was sectioned before winning her appeal against the mental health ruling.
She bought Herdman’s Mill in Sion Mills in 2014, but it was targeted by fires and vandalism.
Ms Loughrey locked horns with Sion Mills Cricket Club and at one point locked them out of their pitch on the grounds.
They eventually came to an agreement they could use it and had done since without incident.
Then in 2015 Ms Loughrey was ordered to do 150 hours of community service after being convicted of assaulting a taxi driver.
She bought Herdman’s Mill in Sion Mills in 2014, but it was targeted by fires and vandalism and brought her grief with locals
More recently she had planned to turn local pub The Greyhound Bar into ‘The Back Street Bar’ but it is not known if it ever was
She told JPs she could not remember anything about the alcohol-fuelled attack in May that year.
Strabane Magistrates’ Court was told that Loughrey was ‘highly intoxicated’ after drinking vodka at a friend’s house when the altercation took place.
The prosecution lawyer said: ‘The driver picked her up at an address in Sion Mills and took her to her home.
‘She then shouted at him that she had no keys to get into her house.
‘The injured party tried to gain access to the address but when he returned to his taxi the defendant refused to get out of the car.’
The lottery winner then grabbed a hold of the taxi driver’s glasses, breaking them. She also tore his sat-nav from the vehicle’s windscreen and threw a book she’d found in the back seat at him.
Instead of asking her to leave, the cabbie opted to drive to the town’s police station, handing her over to officers.
Even then she continued to behave both aggressively and was argumentatively.
She was physically restrained before being taken from the car into the police headquarters.
Then last year in September an employment tribunal found she had mocked an employee’s religion and should pay him £30,000.
She was found to have discriminated against former general assistant Patrick Breslin.
The Court of Appeal upheld a Fair Employment Tribunal’s verdict that she subjected the devout Catholic to a ‘corrosive’ campaign of control and humiliation.
More recently she had planned to turn local pub The Greyhound Bar into ‘The Back Street Bar’ after buying it.
She also intended to build homes on her land which would be affordable to people.
Ms Loughrey said: ‘I’m looking for a bit of land in Strabane to build affordable homes there and in Sion Mills.
‘A mortgage would be easy enough to get for those. I am looking to build 18 of those homes. You can’t take your money with you. There is no shroud with pockets.’
Then speaking in 2019, Ms Loughrey said ‘Money has brought me nothing but grief. It has destroyed my life.
‘I have had six years of this. I don’t believe in religion, but if there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad.’
From blowouts to benefits: Three British teenagers who won millions of pounds on the lottery then blew it
Callie Rogers is pictured after her £1.87million lottery win in 2013
Callie Rogers was just 16 when she won a £1.87million lottery jackpot while working as a shop assistant on £3.60 an hour in 2003.
But the mother-of-four from Flimby in Cumbria has suffered a spectacular fall from grace since and is now on benefits after blowing the whole amount.
Miss Rogers spent thousands on wild parties, three breast enhancements and designer clothing, while also giving away large amounts to her family and friends.
But she was also targeted by people who took cash off her, suffered a string of failed relationships and was attacked by two women on a night out.
Then in March it emerged Miss Rogers had been pepper-sprayed by police following a car crash when her 4×4 veered off the road late at night.
She then failed a drugs test and was given a 22-month driving ban following the incident near her boyfriend Jason Fearon’s home in Crosby, Merseyside.
Callie Rogers, pictured in recent years, has suffered a fall from grace since her win and is now on benefits after blowing her winnings
Jane Park was 17 when she won big on the Euromillions in 2013
Jane Park was just 17 when she won £1million after getting lucky with her first-ever Euromillions ticket in 2013.
She has repeatedly stated winning the Euromillions prize ruined her life and even threatened to sue lottery operators Camelot for negligence, claiming someone her age shouldn’t have been allowed to win.
She has confessed that it was only the advice of family members which stopped her going bust after she went on a spending spree.
The jackpot winner paid for a breast enlargement, Brazilian bottom lift and splashed out on a string of luxury holidays and fashion accessories.
In 2019, she revealed she was making money by selling racy topless pictures of herself on subscription site OnlyFans.
In January she said she had moved to Dubai for ‘business’ reasons and this would be a permanent move, but she returned to Scotland in April.
Also this year, she has had a second Brazilian bottom lift in Turkey after her original surgery in 2017 was botched and left her in hospital with suspected sepsis.
Jane Park pictured in more recent years. In 2019, she revealed she was making money by selling racy topless pictures on OnlyFans
Michael Carroll scooped the jackpot in 2002 from a £1 ticket
‘Lotto lout’ Michael Carroll blew his £9.7million jackpot on drink, drugs and brothels in a decade – describing it as ‘the best ten years of my life for a pound’.
But he now works seven days a week as a £10-an-hour coalman in Moray, Scotland, after having to start again.
Mr Carroll bought the £1 ticket when he was aged 19 and was working as a binman in Norfolk, but before long he was doing cocaine and drinking huge amounts of vodka before he had even got out of bed.
He gave £4million to friends and family, including his aunt and uncle who raised him following his father’s death when he was aged only 10, but spent the rest on an extreme lifestyle, including three homes and racing cars.
His marriage to wife Sandra Aitken ended after she accused him of sleeping with vice girls – and Mr Carroll has claimed to have bedded some 4,000 women.
He appeared in court more than 30 times, but was handed an ASBO for terrorising his neighbours and jailed for five months in 2004 after failing to comply with a drug treatment order imposed as part of a sentence for cocaine possession.
His accountant warned him in 2005 that he was down to his last million, and in February 2006 he was jailed for nine months for affray.
By 2013, he was declared bankrupt and found himself back on Jobseeker’s Allowance – and he even moved into a hotel for homeless people for three months.
He then worked at the Walkers biscuit factory in Aberlour, before getting a licence to work in an abattoir, but now works as a coal miner and lives in a modest rented flat.
Speaking to the Mirror in 2019, he said: ‘I don’t look back with any regrets, that’s for sure. It was ten years of fun for a pound, you can’t go wrong with that.
‘I wouldn’t want to turn the clock back. But I live a good, free lifestyle now and I’m happier because I’ve got my life back.’
Carroll previously described how he was a ‘full-blown alcoholic’ and drank two bottles of vodka a day