'Don't fear the money, but be wary of it' advice for Lancashire lottery winners

Fred and Lesley Higgins won £57.9 million in the EuroMillions in 2018 Credit: The National Lottery

A couple who won almost £60 million on the EuroMillions have advised the Lancashire couple who've scooped £61 million to "not fear the money, but be wary of it."

Fred Higgins, 67, and his wife Lesley, 57, scooped a £57,975,367 jackpot in July 2018, but they nearly lost their entire prize after the ticket was torn up and thrown in the bin by a shop worker.

Luckily, an alarm sounded on the lottery checking machine, alerting the shop worker to the valid ticket.

After a two-week validation process which involved checking the store's CCTV footage, the incredible win was paid out.

The couple bought an £8 million estate in Perthshire, Scotland, along with a five-bedroom house in Angus and penthouse overlooking the Tay in Dundee, but also used some of their money to help children with their mental health by paying for one of their friends to get his book, Lucy's Blue Day published.

The story is about a little girl who wakes up one day with blue hair. She discovers her hair changes colour based on her emotions – red for angry, green for envy and blue for sad.

Fred and Lesley with the book they paid for to be published Credit: National Lottery

Speaking to ITV News in the wake of Richard and Debbie Nuttall's win, Fred said he was very calm when he realised they'd won the jackpot, which he thinks "comes with age", but said his wife was "jumping for joy".

Asked on why they decided to go public with their win, Fred said: "At first we were hesitant, but then a wonderful Liverpudlian lady, from the National Lottery, persuaded us to tell our story.

"People want to know who has won all that money, and they will find you eventually, so we thought we should get it out there.

"Camelot, who ran the lottery, were fantastic with us, they rang us every day to check we were ok, and gave us brilliant support."

Fred and Lesley with their winning cheque Credit: National Lottery

He said winning the money had given him and his wife Lesley freedom, and means they don't have to worry about everyday things like bills, but it does have a number of down sides.

Fred said: "If you have any skeletons in your closet, the press will dig. Luckily we didn't but we still get press attention now, with certain media wanting to know our personal life, and what we are spending our money on.

"Sometimes you need to be suspicious of people and wary of their motives, for example are people only being nice to you so you'll give them some money?

"While I can't advise these new winners on what to do, I can speak from my experience.

"We bought a few properties and made some investments.

"I would say take your time, don't go mad, but do enjoy yourself. Go on the holidays you want, buy the car, but be careful and be wary of people."