Posted: April 27, 2022, 5:45 a.m.
Last update: April 27, 2022, 11:07 a.m.
After winning millions in the EuroMillions lottery in 2019, one UK has already given away more than half, calling it its “addiction”.
Frances Connolly always knew that one day she would win the lottery. She was so confident that she even made a list of who could receive stacks of cash if she did. In 2019, her dream came true after she and her husband, Paddy, won £115m ($144m) in a 2019 EuroMillions draw.
Since then, Connolly has stuck to his plan. His friends and family received money shortly after his victory. But Connolly donates most of the wins to charity. She says these philanthropic acts fuel an “addiction”.
She is now believed to have up to around £60m ($75.29m) in donations, according to the outlet. Independent.ie.
Blow the budget
Connolly, a former social worker and teacher, tried to set up a budget to distribute donations from her lottery winnings. But it was harder than she thought. After donating the money, she started enjoying it more and now says, “It thrills you and is addictive. I’m addicted to it now.
She loves the feeling she gets from helping others. What started as an attempt to give people something to look forward to during the COVID-19 pandemic has become his lifeline. Connolly admits she’s already given what was budgeted to be given through 2032.
Connolly, from Northern Ireland, set up two charitable foundations to help distribute the funds and raise more from others. One is named after his late mother, Kathleen Graham, and the other is the PFC Trust.
The latter is located in the English port town of Hartlepool. Here, the Connollys have spent the past two decades building their lives. PFC Trust devotes its efforts to young carers, elderly people and refugees in the region. Last Saturday, the trust held a gala which raised £100,000 (US$125,480) for its cause.
Frugality a virtue
The Connollys don’t have an extravagant lifestyle. They bought a big house on a huge piece of land as their main expense, as real estate is always a smart investment. However, Frances, who manages the wealth and charities while her husband operates his plastics business, still drives a used car.
If you are stupid before you become (rich), you will be stupid afterwards. Money will not make you sane. Money frees you to be the person you want to be,” says Frances Connolly.
Connolly has found his calling. She uses the money to buy mobile devices for the elderly so they can communicate with their families. Plus, she finds employment solutions for local communities and more. To her, that’s worth more than the multimillion-pound lottery payday.