Do you still sincerely want to be rich? Who wants to be a millionaire - sure? Fortune smiles - but the joke's on us The high price of being a lucky winner Fortune descends on a popular winner

Lottery/ the price of winning

IT WAS, of course, always on the cards that the national lottery would throw up a winner who might be described as "undeserving". Indeed, there are people who feel that this has already been achieved in the person of Winston Churchill, MP. But, surely, no one, but no one, will ever be able to match the contumely, obloquy and sheer rage which greeted the exceptional good fortune of Mark Gardiner, the double glazer from Hastings who last week won a record pounds 22m with his business partner.

Nothing gives a better flavour of the treatment meted out to Gardiner since his win than the opening paragraphs of the Daily Star's front page last Monday morning: "The winner of Britain's biggest lottery jackpot was last night branded an evil, drunken BASTARD. . . The estranged wife of the man with a half share of the pounds 22.5m demanded: `I want my cut'. . . And his adoptive mother blasted: "He doesn't deserve a penny of it. I hope he drinks himself to death".

According to his third wife, Kim, Gardiner was a silver-tongued, womanising, violent drunk who was refusing to pay a penny towards the maintenance of herself or their two-year-old daughter. According to his adoptive mother, Irene, he was a callous, sponging, violent drunk who hadn't paid a penny towards the maintenance of his two previous wives and children, either.

Later that day, Gardiner appeared at a press conference organised by Camelot, the lottery company. To the casual eye, watching on television, he seemed a genial, unassuming, even mild sort of a fellow, dressed almost identically with his partner, Paul Maddison, in brand new clothes bought for the purpose. "It's very sad," he said, when asked to respond to his mother and ex-wife. "The comments have hurt me, but I'm not going to talk about it. I'm a nice guy."

It may have been a little unwise, though, to say that he would be keeping all the money to himself. It was certainly unwise to say that "unless I was asleep, I've got the one daughter", since the next day several newspapers were to reveal that he had two. And the husband of his current, pregnant, girlfriend called him a "cheating bastard" for stealing his wife. And his one-time best friend said saving his life was "the worst thing I ever did". And his second wife accused him of having 10 lovers during their 18-month marriage, which took place after his mother dragged him out of the pub. Could it get worse? Well, his mother was also discussing his adoption: "I took Mark to the doctor's and he told me to take him back."

Then, on Wednesday morning, enter his biological mother, to disown him, for "wrecking her life" by searching her out 33 years after the extra- marital affair that produced him. "I have a vision of Mark," said his mother's husband, "finishing up with a Ferrari and going into a brick wall - and I hope it is tomorrow". Below this was a report that his flat in Hastings had been burgled.

Since then, there has been the revelation that he had a "torrid affair" with a striptease artiste, followed by her denying it, claiming that he merely begged her for sex. Various former colleagues and associates have queued to condemn him; one has defended him. For his part, Gardiner has gone away "for a short break". Camelot say he could be "making a statement" in a week's time. If he does, it might be to advise that only people with blameless private lives enter politics and the lottery.

Meanwhile, two women have been treated in a psychiatric hospital after they became convinced they had won the lottery. There has been an inquest on a Liverpool man who shot himself, thinking that he had missed out on a pounds 2m win when he would in fact have won only pounds 27. A letter to the Independent reported an American study of 22 major lottery winners which found that they are no happier than non-winners and take significantly less pleasure from everyday events like watching television. And the Asian from Blackburn who won pounds 18m six months ago told a newspaper that he was still entering every week. Good luck.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Sport
footballSporting Lisbon take on Chelsea as Manchester City host Roma
News
i100
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films
News
businessForbes 400 list released
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Day In a Page

Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn