Couple who scooped 148million lottery jackpot to divorce just over …
- Adrian and Gillian Bayford won huge EuroMillions jackpot 15 months ago
- Couple said at the time the big win would bring them and family closer
- But Mrs Bayford says their relationship has broken down ‘irretrievably’
- Pair are living in separate mansions ten minutes apart in Suffolk
- ‘We still get along and talk. We’re happy now – life goes on,’ Mr Bayford said
- He denies that an affair is behind the break-up after nine years of marriage
A couple who scooped a 148million lottery jackpot have blamed the stress of becoming overnight multimillionaires on their decision to divorce.
But while Adrian and Gillian Bayford claim the huge sum led to the split, there s also the small matter of a rumoured affair between Mrs Bayford and the couple s gardener and accusations that Mr Bayford ran over his alleged love rival with a golf buggy.
Mr Bayford, 43, is now being sued by landscaper Chris Tovey, who claims he was deliberately mowed down in the 200-acre grounds of the pair s mansion.
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All change: Just over a year since their 148m lottery win Gillian and Adrian Bayford have confirmed their marriage is over
Payout: The Bayfords won 148million in August, one of the biggest lottery jackpots in history
Friends also say that while Mrs Bayford revelled in the luxury lifestyle afforded by their EuroMillions win, Mr Bayford struggled to enjoy the high life and had not settled in at the couple s country estate.
Just 15 months after they scooped the second biggest ever lottery prize, he has left the 6million Georgian mansion where his wife still lives.
Facing the world: Lottery winner Adrian Bayford at his home in Suffolk today, after it emerged her recently split from his wife Gillian
He has moved into a more modest 500,000, four-bedroom home in Haverhill, Suffolk the area where the couple originally lived.
Mr Bayford told the Mail last night: Gillian and I have split.
He denied that there was anyone else involved, saying: There s never been anything like that at all.
Instead, the stress of managing their fortune meant they had not spent time together and their Grade-II Cambridgeshire pile became a chore to maintain, he claimed.
When you win the lottery it s so stressful, he said.
I ve worked so hard on those grounds at the mansion, I ve not had a break, we ve never had time together as a couple.
‘I mean you cannot change what s happened. It is just something that happened.
But we re great friends, we re still getting on.
He added: Things happen. Sometimes in life you have to move on. We re all happy now and life goes on.
Friends last night dismissed the rumours over an affair between Mrs Bayford and Mr Tovey, 40, as nonsense.
The golf buggy crash that has left Mr Tovey on crutches seven months on was not deliberate, they claim.
Best friend Richard Hudspith said: Adrian was driving an off-road vehicle on his private land when the accident occurred in April this year.
‘There were two witnesses who have given testimonies that it was an accident.
Chris was injured but he did not suffer a broken leg.’
New life: Mrs Bayford is said to be living in the couple’s 6million Georgian mansion, which has more than 100 acres of land
Court claims: Chris Tovey said he was hit by a golf buggy
According to friends, Mr Bayford had never learned to drive and could not enjoy the couple s new fleet of cars or even the golf buggy they bought, which they say he crashed while trying to navigate his grounds.
But Mrs Bayford revelled in the luxury lifestyle afforded by their win she has had a makeover and slimmed down, and enjoys their fleet of cars, which includes an Audi, a Mercedes and a sporty Mini.
However, a former friend said the win had changed her and that she had lost touch many of her old acquaintances.
Cindy Smith, 46, said: She s definitely changed since she won the money, which is a real shame.
Mrs Bayford opened a children s play barn with Mrs Smith in May after the win, but they fell out and it has since closed down and been sold.
I ve deleted her numbers from my phone, she said.
Friends of Mr Bayford said he preferred a more humble lifestyle to his wife.
Mr Hudspith, who ran a second-hand record shop with Mr Bayford until shortly after the win, said: Adrian didn t want to do anything special after winning all that money.
Down the road: Mr Bayford is now living in this 500,000 house around 10 minutes away from his wife in Suffolk
Luxury: The new house purchased by lottery winner Adrian Bayford as it was announced he had split with his wife
Swish: The 500,000 house includes this swimming pool, and is just a short drive from where Mr Bayford’s wife lives
Pretty: The property has perfectly manicured lawns and flower beds fit for a multi-millionaire
They didn t want to move abroad and sit in the sun. They had the kids to look after.
Colin Richards, who runs a video rental store near Mr Bayford s old shop, added: He doesn t drive, he doesn t go out, you don t see him in town. I know different people like different things, but if I had won it I would have motor cars and all the nice luxuries in life helicopters and boats.
‘But he doesn t seem interested in anything like that.
He could not even drive the golf buggy he had up there, he crashed it.
The couple, who have a daughter aged eight and a six-year-old son, announced their split in a statement from Mrs Bayford that said their marriage has broken down irretrievably .
The couple s win in August last year put them 516th on Britain s Rich List but they celebrated with a budget holiday in a Scottish caravan park.
Happy day: Adrian and Gillian celebrate winning the jackpot in August 2012, which put them in the top 500 richest people in Britain
Off to work: EuroMillions jackpot winner Adrian Bayford, opens his small shop in Haverhill, but gave it up after he was plagued by people begging for money
Old life: The Bayfords lived in this modest house before they got rich and said they were ‘like ships in the night to earn the income we needed’
Mrs Bayford later said she hoped the windfall would allow the family to spend more time together.
The former healthcare assistant at Cambridge s Addenbrooke s Hospital said the pair who married in 2004 were like ships in the night to earn the income the family needed.
This money has come at the right time for us and is going to benefit the whole family, she said.
Mr Tovey, who lives with his wife in a small terraced house in Haverhill, told the Mail last night: I ve got a lot at stake and I m not willing to comment.
‘They ve separated, which is news to me, and I played no part in their separation.
His wife, Teri, added: He was nothing to do with their marriage.
CAN MONEY BUY YOU HAPPINESS? NOT FOR ALL LOTTERY WINNERS
A string of lottery winners have discovered that a huge fortune cannot always buy happiness.
Notorious Michael Carroll, pictured right, of Downham Market, Norfolk, was 19 when he won 9.7million in 2002.
Carroll, who had a history of petty crime, became known as the ‘Lotto lout’ when he collected his jackpot wearing an electronic tag.
In 2010 he said he was being forced to sell his house and wanted to work as a dustman after squandering his fortune.
Iorworth Hoare, from near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was dubbed the ‘Lotto rapist’ after scooping 7.2 million in 2004 when he bought a Lotto Extra ticket while on day release from prison. Details of his rape conviction came to light after the win.
The High Court later ordered that he pay close to 100,000 to his victim in a landmark ruling.
His bill for legal fees reportedly reached almost 1 million.
Mark Gardiner, a glazier from Hastings, Sussex, won a half share of 22.6million in 1995. Years later he spoke about how the money had ;ruined my life’.
He said he met with jealously, false allegations and legal claims from ex-girlfriends. ‘If I could turn the clock back, I would move to a different area,’ he added.
Roger and Lara Griffiths, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, netted 1.8 million on the National Lottery in 2005. He had worked as an IT manager and she as a performing arts teacher but both quit their jobs.
Mrs Griffiths later spoke of how the win wrecked their marriage while Mr Griffiths said he had been left with just 7 in the bank.
She told ITV’s Daybreak programme said she had been forced to sell her collection of designer handbags to get by.
Callie Rogers, from Workington, Cumbria, became Britain’s youngest ever lottery winner at 16 when she won 1.9 million in 2003.
Ten years later she said she had frittered the money away on drugs and alcohol and became so depressed she attempted suicide.
The mother-of-three said she had been left with just 2,000 but added: ‘I’m finally truly happy.’