EuroMillions lottery winner Margaret Loughrey died alone in a bungalow after abandoning her £1million Grand Designs-style home, it has been claimed.
The 56-year-old had also “cut all ties” with her family and was refusing to seek help for a serious illness, according to her brother Paul.
She was found dead on Thursday morning eight years after scooping £27million, but her heartbroken sibling insists she did not die by suicide.
‘Maggie Millions’ – who was unemployed when she bought the winning ticket in 2013 – previously admitted her windfall had ruined her life and she was besieged with problems.
But Paul said she had been putting off getting help for a major medical problem for the last two weeks.
He explained Margaret had given each of her four siblings £1million but had had limited contact from her family for the last six years – and was blighted with mental health problems.
Her bungalow – where she’d lived before striking it rich – sits next to her Victorian warehouse-style dream home, built recently and including a glass-fronted showroom for her collection of classic cars.
Her last days were spent in the modest property in Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, locked away with her two Scottish Terrior dogs.
Margaret’s brother told the Daily Mail his sister had “never managed to find happiness”.
He said: “The lottery win done none of us any good, let me tell you. The day that she won it, I said, ‘Life is never going to be the same, this is going to destroy some of us here.’
“It was too much for Margaret to deal with. It was a lot of money. I couldn’t have dealt with it. Personally I wouldn’t have wanted it.”
Paul said he doesn’t know the cause of death yet, but “we definitely know” it wasn’t suicide.
“She was very sick for a couple of weeks, but she refused to go to the doctor and refused to go to the hospital. She was very frail,” he continued.
Paul went on to say Margaret had made detailed plans to be cremated and he doesn’t think there will be a proper funeral service – though family are invited.
The proceedings are being entirely handled by her solicitor and will take place on Monday or Tuesday.
She wanted to have her ashes to be turned into pebbles and scattered on Marble Hill beach in County Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland – a place where she’d holidayed as a child, said Paul.
He described how Margaret had built her dream home on a vacant plot containing outbuildings next to her bungalow – and it had high walls and large gates.
Paul said she only moved in “for a wee while” before returning to her original home as it was too big.
After scooping £26,863,588 with a ticket bought on a whim while walking home from the job centre, Margaret bought her bungalow for £125,000.
She reportedly gave away half of her fortune to good causes, as well as buying the derelict Herdmans former linen mill with plans to transform it into a leisure and tourism centre in order to bring jobs to the community.
She also had plans to build a number of affordable homes on her land, as well as buy her local pub.
After her win she was briefly sectioned in a mental health unit and said in 2019 that thieves had stolen much of her money, leaving her with only £5million.
She said in one interview: “Money has brought me nothing but grief. It has destroyed my life.
“I have had six years of this. I don’t believe in religion, but if there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad. I went down to five-and-a-half stone.”
Paul said he and his brothers and sisters all tried to help Margaret but she didn’t want to know.
He insisted she had mental health problems and “they should have kept her inside” for six months but a solicitor argued her corner and she was let out after a few weeks.
Paul believes much of his sister’s problems stem back to her father’s death when she was around 16, and who she was close to.
He said before her win he would see her every day but after she didn’t want anything to do with her family, he claimed.
“It was her mental health that was the problem. I didn’t take it personally. It was an illness she had,” he said.
Paul had to break the news of Margaret’s death to their 83-year-old mum who has dementia.