Michael Carroll (lottery winner)
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A former binman and Ulster Defence Association supporter, Carroll won £9,736,131 (then US$15.4m) on the National Lottery in November 2002, aged 19. He enjoyed a celebrity status for a time in the British media as the self-proclaimed 'King of Chavs', a phrase that he emblazoned on his black Mercedes van.
Michael Carroll was born to a woman who worked in a canning factory and an RAF engineer. When Carroll was 18 months old, his father was jailed in a military prison for 11 years for stabbing a couple after getting into a fight at a dance. His parents separated when he was seven years old; his father died from a heart-attack when he was 10. He had several step-fathers, one of whom would lock him in his room for hours after hitting him. Carroll stated he was dyslexic, had ADHD, and was barely literate by the time he finished secondary school.
When Carroll was 13, he received a custodial sentence for shoplifting and was sent to the Hollesley Bay Prison in Suffolk where he reported that he learned to read and write. When Carroll won the Lottery at the age of 19, he was employed part-time as a binman. At the time of his win, Carroll did not have a bank account, and tried opening one at Coutts as recommended by the lottery company. Coutts refused his application, which Carroll later ascribed to his criminal record.
Soon after winning his fortune, Carroll stated he would not be tempted into spending his money lavishly and only wanted to buy a 3-bedroom house near a lake, where he could go fishing. As a fan of Rangers FC, Carroll invested up to a million pounds of his winnings via Rangers Financial Management, from whom the football club receive a share of profits on the financial services they sell.
In 2005, Carroll participated in a celebrity boxing match in which he seemed to be defeated by Mark Smith, formerly a star of TV show Gladiators under the name Rhino, but the fight was officially declared a draw by the judges. Also in 2006, he was the subject of the documentary Michael Carroll: King of Chavs.
In June 2005, Carroll was given an ASBO by the court after finding that while drunk he had been catapulting steel balls from his Mercedes van, which resulted in breaking 32 car and shop windows, in Downham Market, where he was living. He was sentenced with 240 hours of community service and a warning he could face jail time if he did not adhere to the ASBO.
In February 2006, he was jailed for nine months for affray. It was noted in court while being sentenced, that since 1997, Carroll had 42 previous offences on record. In August 2006, Carroll denied rumours that he had no money left.
While living at his mansion, five of his Rottweilers were found dead with their throats cut. He paid the £130,000 to blackmailers who threatened his family. He said the men came with shotguns and said "You aren't so big now are you, Mr. Carroll?". He took off in his car and he never went back to Swaffham, he claimed. He ended up returning to Downham Market.
His biography written by Sean Boru, entitled Careful What You Wish For (ISBN 1-844-54313-7), was published by John Blake Publishing in October 2006. In 2010, he appeared as a fictionalised version of himself in the film Killer Bitch.
One smart investment Carroll made with advice was to set up a £3.9 million investment bond, which generated monthly income. He was advised to use this account only if funds from a regular account were gone. Once withdrawals are made from the bond, however, huge penalty fees were deducted, besides the amount of the withdrawal. Carroll, who was very generous to family and friends, gave his mother, aunt and a sister £1 million each, and claimed by September 2003, he had to start living off the bond.
The BBC reported that he is almost broke, having spent his fortune on new homes, drugs, parties, jewellery and cars.
- "Who wants to be a millionaire?". The Independent. 22 October 2006.
- Thomas Crosbie Media. "'Lotto lout' invests in Gers". Retrieved 21 May 2007
- Johnston Press Digital Publishing. "Lotto winner ordered to do unpaid work". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007
- Sapsted, David (29 June 2005). "King of Chavs gets ASBO". The Telegraph.
- BBC News (10 February 2006). Nine months for Lotto millionaire. BBC News Online. Retrieved 21 May 2007
- Exclusive: Michael Carroll talks BBC Radio Norfolk, 14 August 2006
- "Lotto winner Michael Carroll wants bin job back", BBC News, 19 May 2010
- £9m lottery winner 'almost broke'. BBC News. 13 July 2006. Retrieved 21 May 2007