Plea to missing lottery winner

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The Independent Online
The mother of the man who won £17.8m on the National Lottery has appealed for her son to get in touch as mystery deepens over his whereabouts.

Two months after he won the record pay-out, the former factory worker is still in hiding, even, it seems, from close relatives. His two brothers are worried that apart from one telephone call to his mother - who is in her seventies - soon after the win, telling her he was safe, they have heard nothing from him, his wife and three children.

Last week, a short note tendering his resignation was delivered to the chemicals factory in Blackburn, Lancashire, where he used to work. This was in marked contrast to the euphoria two months ago, when he was said to have offered £40,000 to each of his workmates and was planning to hold a giant celebration party.

While he has not been in contact with his brothers, he is thought to have been in touch with his father-in-law and brother-in-law. A family row broke out after one of the brothers made an offer to help fund the development of the family's local mosque - apparently without consulting the winner - and there has been no contact since.

The brothers believe he is in London, staying with his wife's relatives. "It is terrible what has been going on," said one of the brothers. "You don't know who you can trust, even in a family."

Camelot, the lottery organiser - which promised to keep in touch with big winners for five years after their success - refused to comment.

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