EVERY week millions of people take part in the lottery hoping it will be their ticket to happiness.
Yet it seems rarely a day goes by without a winner bemoaning his “luck” at becoming an overnight millionaire.
And Bolton’s very own National Lottery jackpot winner says a cash windfall does not buy happiness.
Brian Caswell scooped £25 million on the Euromillions draw in 2009 and described the win as the “icing on the cake”.
The 78-year-old retired sales manager, who still lives in Bolton, said: “I was content before winning the lottery. I had planned well towards retirement and we could do what we wanted within reason.
“The money was the icing on the cake. I could take the children with me on holiday, although we used to go away together as a family. Now we can go upmarket. It enhanced the life we had.”
And there are no Bentleys parked on the drive of Mr Caswell’s home, which is far removed from the ostentatious properties associated with multi-millionaires.
Mr Caswell said: “Why would we want to leave Bolton? We are happy here, I know people here and our friends are here.
“Why would I want a villa abroad and keep going back to the same place.”
He still finds enjoyment and happiness in old pleasures, such as going to the allotment and going out with friends on a Friday night to play 20p dominoes.
The father-of-two and grandfather-of-four said he had worked hard to establish the life he has before the win — his friends and his family.
Mr Caswell said: “People who do not have that sometimes attempt to buy friends by splashing the cash in order to attract people to them.”
Mr Caswell did treat himself to a Range Rover because, as a manager, that was the one company car he was not allowed — that car belonged to the director.
And with the money he was able to bring his family closer — they all now live minutes apart.
He added: “Every week, we all sit round the dining room table, eating and talking and that is the pinnacle of what this has done — we did it before, but the family was all over the place. Now we can sit and talk in one place.”
He said the downside to the win was the media frenzy which brought on a quick move from the family home to their new place in less than a month.
Being a multi-millionaire is a far cry from when Mr Caswell started work in the pits at just 15 and when the culture was save before you buy, rather than today’s “buy now, pay later”.
Mr Caswell’s aspirations for money was so his daughters would have the opportunity to pursue their education. Now the extra money has enabled the family to pursue their various interests.
He added: “I now have a workshop and, in the house I’m in, there is always something that needs doing — and my wife has a talent for art which she can now take up. When she was younger she had to give up a place at art college, because she had to work.”
The family say the biggest difference the win has made is being able to help others, and a charitable trust has been set up to help charities and causes in Bolton first, Lancashire second and then Greater Manchester.
He said: “I have seen families split because of money, but I have seen families brought closer together because, maybe, the financial stress is no longer there.
“Happiness is a frame of mind. You have to keep your feet on the ground and think what was important before and what is important now.”
For the family, money worries might have disappeared but they still have the same plans they had before. These are now easier to achieve and the happiness they gain from them is not diminished as a result.
Mr Caswell said: “People who are born into money are more relaxed about money and my family can be a little more like that.”
Grandson James Bent, aged 23, said: “Money facilitates aspirations. I have had more opportunities and it is easier for me. But I continued working at a restaurant after the win, before I went to university.”
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