The case of the £10m lottery winners still claiming benefits
On Monday I discovered I’d had a little win on the lottery. It wasn’t a huge payout but it was a most welcome surprise.
This morning, though, when I read of the story of a couple named Michael and Jean O’Shea who won a £10,215,000 EuroMillions jackpot in 1995 but retained their former council house and continued to claim benefits, I was utterly appalled.
Michael and Jean O’Shea pictured enjoying champagne at Nottingham Race Course after their 1995 win.
That this pair are not breaking the law, as the disability living allowance and Mobility schemes they benefit from are not means tested, is all very well but the morality of their behaviour is just indefensible.
The O’Shea’s 3-bedroom former council house in Sneiton, Nottingham. They purchased this property for £5,000 in 1977 and it is now said to be worth £190,000.
73-year old Mr O’Shea, a former builder, the Daily Mail reveals, has claimed around £31,500 in benefits, as well as being given a new car every three years, since his win stated:
“I worked hard for 40 years and I’m entitled to it. I’ve been getting it since about 1996. I declared the win to the authorities at the time, but it doesn’t matter as it’s not means tested.”
The O’Shea’s £700,000 Irish holiday home at Ballinclogher in the Kerry mountains comes complete with 2 receptions, a bar and 3 bedrooms. A guest house stands in the grounds and the couple also built another detached house up the road for their Mr O’Shea’s sister, Anne.
His equally grasping 72- year old wife added: “Michael needs it… We’re entitled to it,” whilst a male relative piped in with the following:
“People need to leave them alone. It is causing them a lot of upset.”
The O’Shea’s, who earn around £408,000 in interest alone, on their win, could easily make afford to make themselves comfortable rather than taking the easy option of letting the state take care of them. As they’re quite capable of spraying champagne at the horse races and building £700,000 holiday homes in Ireland, they should equally seek out private medical care.
Mr and Mrs O’Shea: do the decent thing and repay the benefits you really did not need. People, then, may start to respect you.
Watch Doreen’s Story, a video inspired by a similar character, at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA9t61PuiDc