No thanks for lottery largesse

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The Independent Online
ROGER ROBAR has given up giving for good. Over the past two years the French chef from Crouch End, north London, has given away pounds 1.5m of his pounds 5.8m lottery win - but now he has vowed: "Never again". Of the 150 people who benefited from his generosity, only seven bothered to telephone or write to say thank you.

People from England, Ireland, Scotland and France beat a path to Mr Robar's door. "One lady told me she had a problem with cancer, another told me she had a problem with her mortgage," he said. "I gave them money but found out later the stories weren't true."

If he had his time again, Mr Robar would not part with a penny, not even to charities. "I bought a bus for children, and they never said thank you," he said. "All I wanted was that people just phoned."

Mr Robar, 48, has opened a beauty salon named Vindo, after his wife Mary Vindo Ayewok, three doors down from the restaurant where he worked as a chef when he won the lottery in June 1996. He bought the restaurant for pounds 250,000 and reopened it after a pounds 120,000 re-fit and a new name: Roger's.

Leading article, page 20

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