We always knew we were lucky to live in Scotland, but now we have solid evidence from the National Lottery. Since its founding in 1994, the UK National Lottery has created over 4,000 new millionaires and it turns out that Scottish lottery players have had their fair share of extraordinary wins.
From November 1994 to February 2016, 341 of those National Lottery millionaires have hailed from Scotland. Whilst not the region with the highest amount of winners – London has the most lottery millionaires — that Scottish number is staggering in terms of its population. On top of the millionaires, another 2,824 tickets have garnered a prize worth £50,000 or more since 1994.
Northern Ireland has the lowest amount of lotto millionaires at 81, with London leading the pack with a staggering 569 millionaires. The Midlands and the South East rounded out the top three at 505 and 438 winners respectively.
The National Lottery surveyed the whole of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and England and the total number of lottery millionaires living in those areas came to just under 3,700. How is that possible if the National Lottery has created many more millionaires than that over the past two decades?
One reason is that Guernsey nor the Isle of Man was surveyed and some winners have come from these areas. However the larger reason is that a lottery player doesn’t have to live in the UK to participate in National Lottery games. Tourists can purchase tickets whilst on holiday in Edinburgh, London or elsewhere and are able to win like any other player.
Online lottery ticket purchasing services such as theLotter also make it easy for foreigners to play UK lottery games. It may ruffle a few locals’ feathers when a foreigner wins a huge jackpot, but it works both ways. Scottish lottery enthusiasts can use these online services to play and win games outside the UK.
And there must be a great many lottery enthusiasts in Scotland because they have made a huge impact on National Lottery history. Chris and Colin Weir, a couple from Largs, Ayrshire, took home an historic £161.6 million EuroMillions jackpot in July 2011, the largest jackpot ever won in Europe. Since their win, the Weirs continue to make history with their charitable trust. The Weir Charitable Trust’s motto is “helping the Scottish community”. Many charities and projects throughout Scotland have been funded by the trust. The husband and wife pair have also donated large sums of money to the Yes Scotland campaign and the SNP.
Yet another lottery record was broken by a Scottish husband and wife duo on 9 January 2016. David and Carol Martin from Scottish Borders bought one of two winning tickets for the record-setting £66 million UK Lotto draw. With their new £33 million fortune, the couple have a lot of financial decisions to make, though they’ve hinted that they will be using some of the money to help their neighbours in need, just as the Weirs have done.
Paisley has yet to break any records, but we do have a few National Lottery millionaires of our own. Back in 2014, the National Lottery celebrated 20 years since its foundation. Upon this occasion, it was revealed that 17 lotto millionaires come from the Paisley area alone, out of a total of over 4,000. Besides, 50 ticket holders from the Paisley area scooped 50 prizes of £50,000 each. Although not all stories had a happy ending, the luck of the Scottish lottery player is not negligible.
The town of Paisley itself is a National Lottery winner, being one of the 13 towns and cities to benefit from a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The restoration project helped Paisley town preserve its architectural heritage for future generations and made the Causeyside Street and Forbes Place areas more enjoyable for inhabitants, business owners and tourists. Hopefully, the revamped historical center will speak in the town’s favor and will improve Paisley’s odds to win the bid for UK City of Culture 2021.