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EuroMillions Winner Colin Weir Dies Aged 71

EuroMillions Winner Colin Weir Dies Aged 71

Colin Weir, one of the UK’s biggest-ever lottery winners and a famous charity campaigner, has passed away. He was 71 and had been suffering from a short illness.

Weir, from Largs in North Ayrshire, won a EuroMillions jackpot worth £161 million in July 2011. This stood as the largest lottery win ever seen in the UK for more than eight years, until an anonymous ticket holder claimed £170 million in October 2019.

He won the jackpot with his wife Chris and they have maintained a high media profile thanks to their charity work. Earlier in 2019, it was confirmed that they would be divorcing after 38 years of marriage.

Announcing Colin’s death on Saturday morning, a spokeswoman for his lawyers asked for ‘privacy for his family and friends at this distressing time’. In a statement, they added: “No further comment will be made other than to offer sincere thanks to the staff of University Hospital Ayr for their care and compassion.”

A Record Winner

When the Weirs won their £161 million prize in 2011, they said they had been having a normal night in front of the TV before they checked their numbers at around midnight. They had bought five Lucky Dips because it was such a big jackpot and did not have much joy with the first four lines they checked, but the fifth one proved to be a perfect match for all the numbers and they celebrated with a glass of white wine before contacting the National Lottery in the morning.

They spoke to the press at a media conference in Polmont, near Falkirk, a few days later, and insisted they would not rush in to exploring the new opportunities that their incredible wealth would bring. However, it was reported that they bought a £3.5 million mansion in 2014 after looking round the property for only ten minutes.

Colin, who had worked as a TV cameraman and studio manager for 23 years, and Chris, a former psychiatric nurse, also had plans to buy news cars and travel the world when they won. They also wanted to buy homes for their son and daughter.

Charity Campaigner

Colin and Chris have also become well-known for their philanthropic work, having set up the Weir Charitable Trust to support community projects throughout Scotland. They have also donated millions of pounds to other causes which are personally significant, including Partick Thistle Football Club and the campaign for Scottish independence.

Colin secured a majority shareholding in Partick Thistle earlier this year and a section of the ground at the Firhill Stadium is now known as the Colin Weir Stand to mark his involvement with the club. Players wore black armbands during Partick’s match against Greenock Morton on Saturday and remembered Colin with a minute’s applause before kick-off.

Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon has also paid tribute to Colin for the donations he has made to politics over the years. She said: “Colin's determination and generosity in the cause of Scottish independence cannot be overstated and was hugely appreciated. The SNP and the independence movement has lost a true friend today and we will miss him dearly.”

Published: Monday 30th December 2019

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