Michael Carroll - The King of Chavs

By Richard J | Updated on 09 Aug 2022

A Short Story of Riches to Rags

Who is the infamous Michael Carroll and why is his story a long-term disaster? What did he do wrong and why did he fail so badly after winning a fortune?

In 2002, Michael Carroll won GBP 9.7 million ($15 million) tax free on Lotto. By 2012 he had spent it all and is widely considered a long-term lottery loser. Instead of making careful decisions, he planned for nothing and blew it all.

At 19 years of age, Michael won a fortune. It was enough to fulfill his dreams of spending big, buying expensive property and setting himself up for life.

Michael didn’t need to work for money ever again. Instead, Micheal blew the lot on constant partying, festivities and debauchery. By 2012 he had nothing left and fell into debt for the non-payment of taxes and property fees.

What happened to lottery winner Michael Carroll?

Michael blew it all and went back to working in a regular job. He now lives an ordinary life and has regrets about the past. He also has to work in standard employment like everyone else.

Yes, he had a lot of fun on the way. But right now, Michael could be in a more comfortable position, living in his own house with financial security instead.

How did Michael Carroll lose his money and his house?

Michael lost his money through arrogance, inexperience and by hanging around with the wrong crowd. He didn’t think at all but carried on spending. This story teaches us that we need to be prudent after winning the lottery. Go out and have fun at first, but if you spend non-stop you will end up in ruin and despair.

Your regrets could outweigh your good memories and pleasures. Make a proper plan and consider the future. To most of us, having a fortune and then going back to normality is a bigger nightmare than the lottery-winning dream.

Michael Carroll Wins Big On The Lottery

In 2002, Michael won GBP 9.7 million tax-free on UK Lotto (UK National Lottery). This was equivalent to USD 15 million at the time. Although this is nowhere near the huge amounts that you can win on Powerball and MegaMillions, it is still an incredible amount. Michael won enough money to never need to work for money ever again.

His winning lottery ticket cost him just GBP 1.00! In Michael’s own words, “it was the best £1 that I ever spent!”

The winning numbers were 5, 28, 32, 39, 42 and 48. Bonus number 21. It is believed the numbers were Quick Pick choices.

Photo: The good days! Michael at 19 after his GBP 9.7 million lottery win.

The Early Years

When Carroll won the lottery he was working as a trash collector (bin man). He also had a baby on the way with his then girlfriend, Sandra Aitken. Soon afterward, he devoted his life to hedonism and reckless spending. Michael began to enjoy life to the extreme!

Michael came from a humble working-class background, but one full of trouble. His father was arrested and sent to jail for stabbing a couple after getting into a fight. He was then absent for 11 years. His parents got divorced and his father passed away when he was just a boy. This partly explains his reckless attitude and his endless spending frenzy.

According to Carroll, he was hit and abused by his new stepfather. At just 13 he was arrested for shoplifting, then sent to Hollesley Bay for young offenders. With only a basic education, this explains Michael’s early working career as a trash collector.

After the win was confirmed, the UK National Lottery (Lotto) advised Carroll to open an account with Coutts, a private banking and wealth management company. They refused his patronage due to his bad reputation. Michael had to look for alternative money management solutions. Does this justify his cash retention problems, though?

The Reckless Years

It started off with cool disaffection. Swaggering his new-found power and spraying champagne to the heavens because he could afford it. Thick chains and expensive bling were followed by arrogance and hands shoved into the face of intruding cameras.

After the win he went on a spending spree that didn’t end until every penny was gone! When interviewed by the local news channel at his mother’s house in 2013, Michael claimed he had no regrets. He said that he had done something that very few people ever did: “lived life to the full!” Does anyone really believe this sentiment now that he is all washed up?

Micheal is now just an ordinary guy with a low-paying job. He works as a coal and firewood delivery man in Scotland!

Michael enjoyed all the human vices possible. Excessive spending, drugs and alcohol, you name it. His cocaine habit saw him “sniff away” three-houses. Sometimes drinking two bottles of vodka per day, Michael reportedly drank half a bottle of booze before getting out of bed in the morning! As long as it was wet he was happy: vodka, whisky, beer or cider. Guzzled down with an assortment of narcotics.

After his enormous win and indulgent habits, the British tabloids labeled him the Lottery Lout. Michael even proclaimed himself the “King of The Chavs”. A very lucky man indeed, but also perhaps the dumbest person to ever win the lottery?

Michael enjoyed himself to excess, cramming extreme laddish behavior into the shortest time possible. The press abhorred him, but with so much money in the bank, Michael didn’t care a bit. With a constant can of beer in his hand, as long as he was drunk and had no financial worries, he was happy. So were all the hangers-on!

Fun fact: a chav is a stereotypically young British person of lower class with aggressively loutish behavior. They usually wear flash jewelry and casual clothing such as tracksuits and baseball caps.

From Bad to Worse

Although Michael thoroughly enjoyed himself, his excessive indulgence got progressively worse. An anti-social behavior order (ASBO) was issued against him by the court, for drunken bad behavior.

This depraved behavior saw him appear in court more than 30 times in his early life. His negative endeavors include:

  • Ripping a chandelier from a hotel ceiling while swinging on it.

  • Convicted for affray: to spend nine months in prison.

  • Ordered to spend 240 hours doing community service.

  • Fined for vandalism.

  • Convicted of drug-related charges.

  • Convicted of sling-shooting ball bearings through 32 car and shop windows.

  • Ordered to stop holding demolition derbies in his junk-strewn backyard.

In court, it was noted that Carroll had 42 previous offenses on record!

Michael’s inflated ego got the better of him as he became an outwardly unlikeable character interested in his personal gratification only.

A fan of boxing and living it large with his closest mates, the race was on to be the ultimate king of chavs! To relieve tension, Michael and his mates would often fight each other in the trash-strewn backyard.

Boxing gloves were used to limit brain damage, but as soon as the gloves were off, a middle finger would be shown to anyone who disagreed with him.

Unfortunately, the King of Chavs was down to his last million after just three years. The rest had been frittered away through an extravagant lifestyle.

Holidays abroad with his buddies were a frequent occurrence. Wild vacations to the sunny Cosa del Sol in Spain! After getting high on cocaine, visits to the red light district were a favorite activity. “The girls there were better looking”, he laughed.

Carroll claims to have slept with over 4,000 women and as many as eight women in one night.

The Lavish Spending

Michael bought cars, boats and expensive properties. He was regularly drunk or high on drugs. The spending backed by enormous wealth never stopped, and the hangers-on, casual friends and acquaintances grew to major proportions. Michael’s ego got the better of him and he couldn’t resist being the main man and the center of attraction.

His house, The Grange, was frequently used for wild parties, with its beautiful lawns used for impromptu demolition derbies and intoxicated destruction. Hangers-on lived at the property for many years and eventually had to be kicked out. When he was no longer able to maintain the property, it remained derelict for 10 years.

Michael was accused of buying friends to gain popularity. But these people were just as guilty of using Michael for his money as he was of using them. When Michael had burned through his fortune and was living again at his mother’s house, the praying vultures started to encircle. Intrusive press, nosey neighbors and heckling naysayers pervaded his every step.

Enemies were made through notorious gangster communities. One day Michael woke up to find the slit throats of his six Rottweilers at his door. After being tormented with terrifying pictures of his family, enough was enough when the gangsters threatened to chop up his daughter and the rest of his family. Incredibly, the dispirited man paid GBP 130,000 to get the gangsters off his back!

Funnily enough, Michael did make some wise decisions. He initially invested GBP 3.9 million in an investment bond to generate monthly income. But the penalties for cashing in the bond were so severe that Michael lost a lot of money when he needed the reserves. He also gave away millions to family and friends, including his mother and aunt.

Fun facts: Michael enjoyed extra fame in a celebrity boxing match against ‘The Rhino’. He appeared in the film Killer Bitch as a fictional version of himself.

And he had a biography written about him called ‘Careful What You Wish For’, published in 2006. Although no longer in stock, this book was available at Amazon.co.uk.

The Final Descent of Michael Carroll

By 2013, Michael was penniless. He temporarily lived with friends and family and had to get back to salaried work. His reputation made things difficult for him to find employment.

A fan of Rangers Football Club, he eventually followed his ex-wife, Sandra, to Scotland. Moving to Moray, he lived in a squalid residence for has-beens. Practically homeless for three months, he still had enough cash for beer!

Employment included jobs at a biscuit factory and in a slaughterhouse. Michael got an official slaughterhouse license, which he is still proud of. Finding home in a rented apartment, he finally settled down as a coal carrier and delivery man in Scotland.

Carroll still buys an occasional lottery ticket! However, he is convinced that “money is the root of all evil”. This is a common sentiment from people who had it all and later blew it.

A self-confessed soft touch that let money slip through his fingers like sand. “Hangers-on were there just for the money”. In his own words, “Don’t trust anyone, not even your family”.

Marriage and Remarriage

Before Michael won the lottery his girlfriend treated him with scorn, regularly threatening to kick him out. After winning the lottery she changed her tune. She tried to exercise full control over him and his money.

The marriage to Sandra Aiken ended after the spending and debauchery carried on and on. She walked out in disgust and divorced him after claiming he was “frittering away 10 million on drink and drug binges and was cheating on me with prostitutes”. The divorce settlement cost Michael GBP 1.4 million!

But there is good news! Sandra has now forgiven him (and probably spent all her cash too). Incredibly, the couple remarried at the end of 2021! With all the money gone, our story ends on a relatively happy note, with love being more important than riches and wealth.

Normally we say rags to riches, but in Michael Carroll’s case, it’s riches to rags (and a bit of firewood and coal too).


When Micheal won the lottery he immediately became everyone’s best friend. He is now broke.

Michael lived life to the max and had an enormous amount of fun. It is difficult to call him a total loser after 10 years of unabashed fun, but you decide? Life is short, and even though his cash is gone, his quality of life has improved because he now knows who his true friends are!

To be fair, Micheal is a pretty likable guy who is quite popular and sociable. He doesn’t outwardly care about being broke because of all “the women and fast living” he had. He just wasn’t cut out for long-term wealth and didn’t know how to handle it.

The fact that he isn’t bitter about losing his fortune is testament to his character and generous personality. If we had known Michael in 2002, perhaps we would have gone along for the free ride also? Surely we would have enjoyed his lavish spending sprees as much as he did?

Michael was guilty of blowing his fortune on wasteful experiences just for the pleasure of it. But he was just as guilty of inexperience, limited education and lack of wisdom. He knew little about financial planning.

He is not the only person to have blown his fortune through over-indulgence and lack of common sense. Michael is not alone in his demise then, but he is definitely one of the most notorious bad boys of lottery shame. Perhaps one of the most stupid?

Now Michael has to work like everyone else for his daily bread. At least he thoroughly enjoyed himself while it lasted! And best of all, he has been out of trouble with the law since 2012!