Lottery winner blew £17m and blamed it on bad advice

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Sherif Girgis, a part-time cinema worker, had his life turned upside down when he won a £17million jackpot in an Australian lottery in 2007. Mr Girgis, who was 23 at the time, quickly blew £14million of the original jackpot on extravagant purchases, including a nightclub and yacht. The Australian man has blamed the huge loss of money on former City of Joondalup councillor Russell Poliwka, who he claimed gave him bad advice on how to splash the cash.

He took Mr Poliwka to court over the matter, demanding £1.9million from the real estate agent and former councillor.

Mr Girgis blamed Mr Poliwka for badly advising him on how to invest the money.

He told the court that he had sought help on investments from Mr Poliwka after winning the jackpot.

This included spending £1.5million on a nightclub called Crush as well as half a million for an 80-foot yacht.

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The lotto winner also spent £750,000 on renovating a pub, now called the Grand Central Hotel in Midland.

However, the pub lost more than £600,000 over a three-year period.

He also bought the West Coast Drive superblock with ocean views.

By 2012, Mr Girgis told Mr Poliwka he had only £2.8million of the initial £17million prize left over.

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Mr Girgis launched the court case in 2014 and eventually won five years later.

In 2019, he was awarded £1.12million via the Supreme Court, although it was lower than his original demand.

Justice John Vaughan ruled that Mr Poliwka pay back a percentage of what Mr Girgis claimed he was owed.

A similar tale of lottery loss befell another winner in 1998.

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John Roberts, 30 at the time, ended up penniless only three days after bagging £3.5million.

He told The Mirror that found himself living in a caravan in Leeds shortly after the win.

The former security guard fell victim to a string of dodgy deals.

Meanwhile, the National Lottery in the UK is on the hunt for two winners who have yet to claim their prizes

One winner has scooped £1million and doesn’t yet know it, according to the organisation.

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