Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

£161m EuroMillions jackpot winners to divorce

Chris and Colin Weir, who have been married for 38 years, won the jackpot in 2011.

Colin and Chris Weir have announced their intention to divorce amicably (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Colin and Chris Weir have announced their intention to divorce amicably (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A couple who scooped Britain’s biggest Euromillions jackpot have announced “with deep regret” that they are to divorce, almost eight years after their massive win.

Chris and Colin Weir, who claimed the £161 million prize in 2011, confirmed their plans for the amicable separation as they revealed they have been living apart “for some time”.

The couple, from Largs in North Ayrshire, who have been married for 38 years, have two grown-up children.

A statement issued on their behalf said: “It is with deep regret that Chris and Colin Weir confirm that they have been living apart for some time and are applying for divorce amicably.

“They ask that the family’s privacy is respected at this time and there will be no further comment.”

Mr and Mrs Weir became Europe’s biggest lottery winners with the fortune, and at the time they declared they were “tickled pink”.

Mr Weir, now 71, told a 2011 press conference: “When we first realised we had won, it felt like a dream. Everything went into slow motion. But it feels like a good thing, something we should not be afraid of but for us to enjoy with the children.”

Mrs Weir, now 62, worked as psychiatric nurse before their win and Mr Weir was a TV cameraman and studio manager for more than two decades.

The life-changing prize catapulted them into the Sunday Times Rich List. The most recent edition put them at 770th place in the index of the richest 1,000 people in the UK.

bpanews_c9b87f66-8714-4ccf-a20b-b4cc2d2b1948_embedded211204157
The Weirs became Europe’s biggest lottery winners with their fortune (Lynne Cameron/PA)

They have donated to a number of charity ventures, and set up The Weir Charitable Trust.

A community football club in their local town received a donation, while their investment in Partick Thistle FC led to the youth set-up being rebranded the Thistle Weir Youth Academy and a section of Firhill Stadium being named the Colin Weir Stand.

In the first year of their win, they also donated money to refurbish sports facilities for the National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde and helped secure the future of the Waverley, the world’s last ocean-going paddle steamer.

In 2014, the year of the Scottish independence referendum, the Weirs donated £3.5 million to the Yes Scotland campaign.

Describing themselves as “lifelong supporters of independence”, they said it would be “strange” if they had not backed the drive.

Despite the No result in that ballot, the SNP supporters insisted they had “no regrets” about their donation as they urged both sides to “come together as one nation”.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph