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Viv Nicholson became the biggest Pools winner in history in 1961, collecting £152,319 - the equivalent of £5m today. She promised the nation she was going to "spend, spend, spend".

Viv Nicholson became the biggest Pools winner in history in 1961, collecting £152,319 - the equivalent of £5m today. She promised the nation she was going to "spend, spend, spend".

A factory worker and mother of four, Viv lived in her home town of Castleford, Yorkshire, at the time. She bought a large bungalow with her second husband, Keith Nicholson, they sent their children to boarding school, and turned to a life of constant drinking, partying and shopping.

Over the next 15 years, her husband died in a car crash, she remarried three times, dyed her hair to match her cars, and travelled the world spending all her money. Eventually, she was reduced to stripping in a club, and consoled herself with alcohol.

Since then, Viv's life has changed dramatically. She has returned to Castleford, lives with her granddaughter, Brooke, and is now a devout Jehovah's Witness. At 62, she lives on a state pension, and has a job as a perfume sales assistant. She still loves to shop. A musical about her life, Spend, Spend, Spend, is at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, starring Barbara Dickson.

 

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