Kirk Stevens and his partner, Laura Hoyle, won the ‘Set For Life’ draw in March 2021 – meaning £10,000 a month would be coming their way for the next 30 years.
He popped the champagne, posed with the massive cheque, and dreamt of their future together. But earlier this summer, Laura left him – taking the remainder of the £3.6 million jackpot with her.
“Laura had told me we’d live the life of Riley if we won,” the 39-year-old told The Sun. “Now she’s gone.
“She pulled the plug and took everything. She even wants our two dogs.”
Laura has declined to comment on the headline-grabbing story, which has left many people wondering whether Kirk should be entitled to half of the payments.
A National Lottery spokesperson has now clarified that all jackpots are paid to an individual, and having your name on the huge cheque doesn’t necessarily mean huge sums of money will be heading your way.
The spokesperson told LADbible: “If it is a syndicate then members will be invited to attend the validation process, and given access to appropriate advice. We would also support the syndicate leader in distributing the money to the syndicate members.
“If a winner chooses to share their news then a variety of props are created to enable their story to be told – one of these is the giant dummy cheque.
“It is up to the ticket-holder to decide what names they would like on the cheque – it does not relate to the process.”
They continued: “When someone wins big on a National Lottery game then we have a duty to pay out the rightful ticket-holder. This is the person who owns the ticket, usually the person who bought the ticket.
“When the ticket-holder claims we ask a variety of questions so we are confident they are the rightful owner, and if there’s any doubt we undertake further investigation. Clearly with online accounts it is easier to link the player back to the account and ticket. At this point we also ask if it was a ticket purchased on behalf of a syndicate.
“Once we are confident we have the rightful ticket-holder then a specialist Winners’ Advisor will take them through the process to validate, pay them out and provide any support the ticket-holder feels they may benefit from.
“All big winners receive free access to independent financial and legal advice, as well as being advised to pay the money into a private bank account. We would always advise winners to listen to expert advice at this life changing moment.”
Kirk, from Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, said that Laura moved into his home after they met through a friend in 2018.
“She asked me how much rent I wanted, but as far as I was concerned she was my girlfriend,” he recalled.
“I didn’t expect her to pay rent, I didn’t ask her for a penny.
“Instead, she told me she’d buy us Lottery tickets. She spent around £25 a week and told me that if we won, we would both live it up.
“Our arrangement was never any more formal but I didn’t think I needed anything more. We were a couple, living together in my home. Besides, I never expected to win.”
Now the engineer probably wishes it was a lot more formal though, as he claims she’s taken the money and ran, moving into a new build home they put a £500,000 deposit on after the big win.
He added that Laura had been making £1,000 monthly payments into his account after the win, but he claims she’s stopped sending the money since she left, arguing that it was just for rent.
Kirk said: “I just want 10 percent. If she continues to pay me £1k a month, I’ll happily walk away. She won’t even notice it.”