EUROMILLIONS WINNERS COLIN and Chris Weir have fled to Spain to escape a mountain of begging letters, a little less than a week after their big win, The Daily Telegraph reports.
They weren’t actually obliged to go public with their win last week, but they chose to do so because they didn’t want to lie to family and friends.
Now it looks like that decision has come to haunt them.
Their postman says the letters started arriving as soon as the Weirs claimed their €185 million jackpot last Wednesday. Management at the area sorting office, where hundreds more are piling up, have yet to decide if they will continue delivering them all.
Neighbours say they’re surprised the couple, who have two children aged 24 and 22, decided to go public.
It’s thought the pair left the country after they became afraid that people would begin calling to the house looking for money.
Colin and Chris have endeared themselves to the public with their down-to-earth aspirations – his dream is to buy a luxury box at Nou Camp in Barcelona, while she told the Metro she would like to occasionally travel business class.
Until the Weirs stole her crown, Limerick woman Dolores McNamara, was the largest individual prizewinner in European lottery history – she won over €115 million in 2005.
Dolores’ win has caused much unhappiness – her family has been threatened with abduction and all of her children now carry personal alarms – the family’s also had to install high-tech security at their home in Co Clare.
Earlier this year, Co Cork postman Pat Broderick went public with his €7 million win on the National Lottery – he too is understood to have been plagued by begging letters from people down on their luck.
When he collected his winnings in March, Pat admitted he had not chosen to go public himself, but that an acquaintance had let the cat out of the bag – he said he was happy to make the best of the situation.