In this informative post, we will do a detailed exploration of everything that happened to Roger and Lara Griffith. Who are they, how their lives changed after winning the lottery, and we will see how quickly Lara and Roger lost everything. Feel free to use the panel below to quickly jump to a relevant section in the post.
Roger and Lara Griffith and Their Backstory
Before Roger and Lara won the lottery, they lived an ordinary life in England. Roger was an IT manager, earning £38,000, and living happily with Lara. She was an art teacher, and both supported each other. They lived in a four-bedroom ex-council house in Boston Spa and always paid their mortgage.
Lara and Roger had a happy life and always hoped to win the lottery. Roger regularly played with hopes of winning one day. Generally, life was going well for the Griffiths, but all that would change in 2005 when Roger pulled a winning lottery ticket and won £1.83 million from the National Lottery. He bought the ticket from a land-based location, as back in 2005, there wasn’t such a huge diversity of lottery sites in the UK.
Suddenly, Roger and Lara were millionaires. The result was that both quit their jobs soon after they won. An understandable decision, considering they were now millionaires. They were living the dream as one of the very few lucky winners of such a huge jackpot. We will cover what happens next further on in the post, as well as how things took a turn for the worst.
What Did the Couple Invest Their Money In?
The moment lottery winners Roger and Lara Griffth received the news that they were the lucky winners of the National Lottery in 2005, their whole lives would make a huge turn.
All in all, they spent over £15,000 in only ten days. They decided to buy an £800,000 barn conversion in the village of Waterbury, West Yorkshire. This was a huge barn, one that only millionaires could afford, and was their dream come true. Roger Griffiths, the lottery winner, soon bought a £28,000 Porsche Carrera to fill up one of the two garage spots, while Lara purchased a £24,700 Lexus 4×4. Later, they also purchased more vehicles, including a £18,000 soft-top Audi.
Both Lara and Roger went on many holiday vacation destinations like Dubai, New York, and Monaco, staying in five-star hotel suites. These vacations weren’t the only ones they attended, as they also visited numerous other top destinations to enjoy their millionaire lifestyle.
Obviously, every person has the right to spend their fortune in the way they wish to. Some make unreasonable purchases, while others spend wisely and invest. If you’d like to see another point of view and read another story, check out the lottery winner Jane Park article.
Lara Griffiths, the lottery winner, really liked shopping, so she bought handbags and many other luxurious items. A regular Saturday night that was an ordinary enjoyment of a movie plus a few beers turned into spending over £300 per night at One Aldwych. Roger had his teeth whitened and often bought very expensive designer clothes to represent his wealth.
As Roger loved rock, he decided to invest in his university rock band. They hired a publicist that cost him £1,000 per month and ended up recording only one single that sold 600 copies, costing him over £25,000. It was this way due to the rehearsals taking place in London. Even though the band had no success and didn’t meet Roger’s expectations, Lara was proud of him.
The couple bought even more properties in Wetherby, and one in Harrogate for over £200,000, with plans to sell them for a profit. However, the housing crash plummeted their investments. In only three years, their expenses surpassed over a million pounds.
And this is where things started to fall off. The once proud Lara accused Roger of overspending, and he accused her of doing the same. We will see where things took a turn for the worst in the next section.
Where It All Went Wrong
Here is the story of how Lara and Roger lost everything. Both realised that they were overspending and that in less than four years, Roger and Lara squandered their money. Over €1,1 million were lost, and the arguments and accusations started.
Lara blamed everything on Roger, as she claimed he was the one that wasted the fortune they had won. Everything started with a house fire on their main property in Wetherby, when a boiler ruptured and caused huge damages to their barn.
Over €120,000 worth of repairs needed to be carried out, and the couple realised their money would soon be gone. This, according to Roger, was “the final straw of our marriage”. Roger said he was so overwhelmed and overly excited about becoming a millionaire that it took him over six months to get used to it. At that time, he has not realised that everything would fall apart and did not make any plans for smart investments. He thought, since he had that much, he didn’t need a job and that he and Lara were set for life.
The Couple’s Breakup, Accusations, and Blame
Another event occurred soon after when Roger and Lara’s relationship ended. She had found out that Roger was emailing another woman and soon accused him of being unfaithful. This was a claim that Roger dismissed, but it was the boiling point of their dying marriage.
Lara and Roger were not divorced yet, but that would follow soon after because both of them started constant arguments about their poor investment decisions. Lara was angry that Roger bought all these properties and cars and was disappointed about the large amount of money that went into his unsuccessful rock band.
She also claimed they had completely forgotten about their children, who were initially sent to very expensive private schools. They were worried they could not support them anymore, so the children were again moved back to their original public establishments. This, coupled with the crumbling of their planned investments to sell the properties because of the financial crisis, was when Roger and Lara’s relationship ended.
To his defence, Roger said that Lara was also overspending. Her art saloon needed to be sold as it was also not thriving, and he claims that she was needlessly organising trips to first-world countries and cities that were very expensive, with little thought put into the financial hit this would cause to them.
All in all, it turned out that being a lottery winner isn’t all good. They had a lovely life, never failed to pay their mortgage, and were able to support their children. Their jobs weren’t low paid, but the jackpot completely changed their lifestyle. Winning the lottery will do that, and many people do not feel sympathy for the Griffiths.
The couple had undergone many interviews by the media. After all, they were the popular winners of the National Lottery. Everybody knew about the Griffiths, and when news broke out that their life had fallen apart, the public’s opinion was negative. Roger and Lara did not work for this money – they got it by a lucky lottery win, and due to poor financial decisions, they lost it all.
What are Roger and Lara Doing Now?
What happened next is that the Griffiths took a devastating blow to a previously happy family. Lara currently still lives in the Wetherby barn conversion, and Roger still insists he pays for the mortgage, though this is not confirmed.
The Porsche was returned, and the many properties that they bought had to be sold at a loss. Although people did not feel much sympathy towards the Griffiths, it’s hard not to feel some for Roger. He did cause harm to the family with all this overspending, but he was left broken after their marriage fell apart and all the accusations Lara put on him. See the below list for a quick timeline of how the issues occurred:
✔️ Roger won the lottery in 2005
🔥 Roger spent £25,000 on his rock band
✅ Lara and Roger started arguing
☀️ Their children were moved to public schools
👉 Lara blamed Roger for everything
➡️ In 2011, Roger was left with just £7
Roger was in a thought circle of where it all went wrong and how he did not intend for any of this to happen. He stated that “the one thing that I did not want to do was to spend and squander all that money”, yet this is exactly what he did, along with Lara’s expensive purchases and vacations too.
Roger did not regret the years he had after the lottery win. He said that they were living the dream, the millionaire’s dream. Few experience such a luxurious lifestyle, and he thinks that every lottery winner should be able to experience it.
All in all, things did turn out to be bad for the Griffiths, as they could have spent their winnings in a much better way. This is the main reason the couple wasn’t well received by the public. If they had been smarter with their investments, been wary of the financial crisis, and put more thought into saving what they could, this could have been prevented.
Other Lottery Winners in the UK
Let’s have a look at some other lucky lottery winners in the UK. One of the most recent and biggest wins was in 2022 when Joe and Jess Thwaite claimed £184 million on a lottery draw that took place on the 10th of May. They wanted to stay anonymous, however, they finally revealed their identity during a press conference.
We must also mention the popular lottery winner Callie Rogers, who, back in 2003, had an ordinary life, living on only £3.60 per hour. Her life took a drastic turn when she won the Lotto Jackpot, earning a total of £1.87 million. We’ve compiled data of the top lottery winners in the UK below.
Biggest Lotto Wins in the UK
Joe and Jess Thwaite
Colin and Chris Weir
Adrian and Gillian Bayford
France Connolly and Patrick
These are our picks for the top lottery winners. No matter who you are, winning the lottery is surely a dream come true. As long as you keep track of your spending, of course. And for a detailed look at more lottery winners in recent times, see our page for the latest lottery winners around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the section below, you’ll find quick answers to the segments discussed in the blog. We’ve covered the whole life after the lottery win of the Griffiths, and the most common inquiries are below. Use the links to quickly go to the relevant section of the blog post.
1️⃣ Who are Roger and Lara Griffiths?
The Roger and Lara Griffiths lottery winners used to live an ordinary life with stable jobs and two daughters. They were a happy family that owned a four-bedroom ex-council house in England, but all changed after they won the lottery in 2005. Roger and Lara quit their jobs and started living the lives of millionaires.
2️⃣ What did the couple do with the money?
The lottery winners, Roger and Lara Griffiths, were quick to start their spending spree. Among the many huge purchases, they bought a barn, several cars, and invested in even more properties. All in all, they could have made smarter investments.
3️⃣ How did the Griffiths lose everything?
Soon, the Griffiths realised that they were overspending. Roger was buying way too many properties and investing in an unsuccessful rock band, while Lara was constantly shopping and suggesting expensive vacations. They eventually got into many arguments, and their marriage broke up. Soon after, Roger and Lara’s relationship ended.
4️⃣ When did Lara and Roger Griffith win the lottery?
The year when everything changed for the Griffiths was 2005. They were living ordinary lives until that happy moment when Roger pulled the winning ticket. As we all know, they should have been more careful with their spending, and today, they are a good example for other lottery winners for how not to spend your winnings.
5️⃣ What are the Griffiths’ lives like now?
Roger and Lara had to say goodbye to their millionaire luxurious lifestyle. After many poor financial decisions, Lara had to move to the barn they initially bought, while Roger lives in a small cottage, with little to no money. Had the couple made smart financial decisions and not quit their jobs, things would have been different.