Inside tragic story of lottery-winning sheet metal worker who scooped £7.5million but lost it all | The Sun

A LOTTO winner who scooped £7.5million lost it all in a messy divorce.

Roy Gibney struck lucky in 1998 and blew the cash on a sprawling six-bedroom mansion set on 25 acres, which came with its own fishing lake.

He later added a 50ft indoor swimming pool with his winning numbers on the bottom and splashed £50,000 on a trophy-winning racehorse called Red Lion.

The sheet metal worker also bought flashy new cars and jetted off on a string of luxury holidays.

But his lavish lifestyle ended abruptly when he split from his second wife Darlene Shand in 2014.

By then, his property portfolio was all but sold off and any money left was swallowed up by the break-up.


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Darlene got a £350,000 home in Scotland, a car, a caravan and £50,000.

And Roy swapped his country house in Barnoldby le Beck, Lincolnshire, for a one-bed bungalow in Grimsby – though he did keep their holiday home in Cyprus.

The dad-of-three said at the time: "I only own one car – you can only drive one at a time, so there's no point in owning 10."

He later told The Sun: "In a lot of ways the lottery win was a blessing but in some ways it was also a curse.

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"It was a hell of a lot of money to win. I lived the high life and parties.

"I've lost money, I've been fleeced and now I'm down to tens of thousands in the bank."

Roy was living alone in a £40,000 two-bed home when he hit the jackpot 25 years ago.

The first thing he did was sell his motor to a pal — for a quid.

He then bought a red Lexus LS300, which he still owns, and mansion The Brambles.

He spent £500,000 doing it up, adding the swimming pool, a bar, a snooker table, a poker table and roulette table.

Roy added: "When the pool was put in, they asked what I wanted on the bottom.

"I said, ‘I don’t bl**** know’. They suggested Roy Gibney, the date and my numbers. I said, ‘slap it in’."

In a lot of ways the lottery win was a blessing but in some ways it was also a curse.

After the split and returning to Grimsby, he rekindled his romance with teaching assistant Tracy Baker, whom he had dated in 2004.

The mum-of-two said: "I heard rumours Roy was back in town.

"People were saying he’d lost all his money, his wife left him and took him for everything.

"I contacted him to see if he was OK and we met up.

"He’s still the same person. He used to hide himself away because he felt like the world was against him, but now he’s happy and he enjoys life."

Roy, who now lives in a £300,000 semi, added: "It’s been one heck of a ride — some of it good, some of it bad. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

"You don’t win the lottery and automatically become happy overnight. Yes you can buy the things you always dreamed of.

"But love is priceless and I wouldn’t swap it for anything.

"People may say I’ve got less now than I did then, but they’re wrong. I’ve got more because I found love.

"I'm living a more modest lifestyle, it's calmer, more normal and I'm blissfully happy."

Despite his financial misfortune, Roy still plays the lottery every week using the same winning numbers – 12, 13, 21, 23, 33 and 36.

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"I'm certain I'll win it again. But if I do I won't be telling a soul," he said.

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