Her name is Karen Child-Smith. Karen won £8.4 million back in 2007 and has proved that by keeping both feet firmly on the ground you can do amazing things with such a huge amount of money. Every now and then we come across lottery jackpot winners who blow their new found wealth and end up not only destroying their lives but losing every dime. This is definitely not the case with Karen.
Karen’s restraint has been impressive. She did acquire new things but what makes this lady happy is giving back to the town she comes from. Not only does Karen still do all the same things she used to do before becoming a multi-millionaire overnight, she also still lives in the same town in Derbyshire with her husband Wayne, and children Ashley and Danielle.
Unemployment hit her town of Clowne, and Karen has gone about getting it back on its feet. One of her projects is to transform her old school into a bar and a gym, which created much needed jobs.
When Karen was asked what her formula of success was, she responded with a 10-point plan of what any lottery jackpot winner should do:
Don’t make rash decisions
The moment anyone realises that every single number is in fact staring straight back at you on the ticket (or online lotto entry) we immediately go into a bit of a shock, and for Karen even two years after the win the feeling still has not fully sunk in. What Karen did was take her family on holiday for a few weeks. It gave them time to finally relax after the win and calmly think about how they would deal with their substantial back balance.
Invest your money wisely
The first ‘purchase’ Karen and her family decided on was to buy their own home. Before the lottery jackpot win, they lived on a council estate and loved it but like everyone she had always wanted her own home. They found a five-bedroom, three story house on the other side of the village. Since then Karen and her family have moved on and now live on an acre of land which the dog loves goofing around on. Karen owns five properties now, with her brother living in one, and three are rented out.
Treat your family... sensibly
Karen gave her mother and four brothers all a lump sum and told them that it was theirs to do with as they pleased. She also told them that they would not be getting anything more so to use it wisely. Karen only gave money to her immediate family as once you start giving to one aunt or one cousin it gets can get ugly and the list never ends.
Bin the begging letters
After going public with the lottery jackpot win, letters from complete strangers filled Karen’s post box every day. Even though they were handwritten, Karen could see that they were definitely not personal and she immediately threw them all in the bin.
Keep your real friends
After their jackpot win, Karen and her husband, Wayne experienced a few hiccups with a few people who took it for granted that they would fit the bill when they went out. This was not the case and these people tried to stir things up. They have kept their real friends and just as before when they go out, everyone picks up their own tab.
Don’t spoil your children
Growing up, Karen was taught to be responsible when it came to money and she has carried this over to her children. Karen said, “I was brought up to treat money responsibly and want my kids to do the same. When I first won my son Ashley wanted an Xbox 360 so I bought him one and I treated Danielle as well.
But now they get spending money for doing chores and if they want something else, they have to wait until their birthday or Christmas or save up and buy it themselves. I want them to get a good education and good jobs. When we go away it is in the school holidays, I don't want them missing any lessons.”
Stick to your own style
Although Karen has gone into a few designer shops, she still feels that it’s just not her style and prefers shopping are Dorothy Perkins and Topshop. Naturally, if they find themselves going to a special event she might slash out a little more but nothing extravagant.
Even when it came to their wedding, the couple preferred to keep it simple. They did increase the guest list ever so slightly and went to Mauritius on honeymoon but as a rule Karen would much rather stay in a three-star hotel than a five-star as she just feels more comfortable.
Keep yourself busy
Before the jackpot win, Karen worked for Tesco and her husband Wayne worked at a B & Q. They both gave up their jobs but soon realised that being in each other’s company 24/7 had its setbacks. They decided to convert Karen’s old derelict school into a bar and fitness centre to keep busy and help the unemployment issue in their area at the same time.
Live your dream
Everybody who plays the lottery dreams about how they will spend their winnings and for Karen doing what you have always dreamed of doing is extremely important. Her favourite car was always a Mini, which she bought herself done up exactly the way she always imagined.
Carry on playing the lottery
Karen says she still plays the lottery every week and advices other winners to do the same. Even the though the odds are against you that you will probably never win again, the money goes to charities and it is still fun checking your numbers.
It’s good to see this lottery winner keep her wits about her and treat her jackpot win with the respect it deserves. After all, if Lady Luck decides to smile down on you and toss your numbers out the lotto ball machine, then it’s up to you to make sure you look after your win and maximise your win. If you too would like to put Lady Luck to good use, then play any of this week’s incredible jackpots right now!
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