A Set for Life winning couple have discovered how much cheaper life has become for the wealthy since winning the top prize in the National Lottery game.
Laura Hoyle and Kirk Stevens now have the cash to buy toilet paper and toothpaste wholesale after pocketing £10,000 a month for the next 30 years. The frugal couple have also bought their phones ahead of time – meaning they’ve cut their monthly bills in four – and are ditching take-out and ready meals now that Laura has time to cook healthy meals afterwards quit his job, reports The mirror.
Getting a mortgage proved difficult for the prospective homeowners, whose applications were rejected by all but one bank despite their high incomes. The biggest change has been in Laura’s mental health now that she’s quit a job that brought her home in tears every day. Instead of devoting 90 hours a week to someone else, the 40-year-old pursues her passion for paranormal investigation full-time.
“We actually got more stingy,” Laura explained. “I haven’t done anything higher end since I won. For me, I look at something, and if it’s a thousand pounds I think ‘no way, I’m not buying that’. Some people have always dreamed of having that kind of money and buying whatever they want. I look at something and think “it’s shoddy and it’s not worth it”.
Kirk and Laura, from Nottingham, won the top prize by matching all five main numbers plus the Life Ball just over a year ago. A big change is what they eat. Now that Laura has quit her job, she has plenty of time to cook healthy meals every day of the week.
“Before, we ate a lot of conveniences and takeaways, when I was working 14 hours a day,” she said. “Now I refuse to do this. We need to stay alive longer.”
As well as an unhealthy diet, the couple’s mobile bill is another thing that has been reduced – from £40 each a month to £10 – as has the amount they spend on groceries. Kirk said: “We tend to buy a lot in bulk. Why go to the supermarket and get 16 toilet rolls when you can go to Amazon and get 56 toilet rolls for the same price.
“Same with deodorant. Shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste. That’s a lot of what we do now. Next door neighbor thought we were hoarding toilet paper during Covid.”
The couple are still in the house they lived in when they hit the jackpot, but will soon be moving into a new property in Nottingham – swapping one bedroom for five, so their friends from Wolverhampton can come visit.
Laura, who is excited at the prospect of spending money while decorating their new home, remains determined in her ambition to become a homeowner. “Everything was invested in savings,” she said of their Set for Life earnings. “The goal is to be owners and have a portfolio.”
A potential hurdle they face is that mortgage lenders are timid when it comes to people who have won their money through gambling, as the lottery is technically categorized, which means they have to prove themselves by getting a large deposit together. I’ve only found a couple (lenders) who will actually touch me, they won’t mortgage a player,” Laura continued.
Laura and Kirk have been remarkably restrained when it comes to splurging since winning. The night they found out the good news, the couple drank four bottles of prosecco together before Laura watched the entire Divergent series to pass the time until morning as her mind raced.
The biggest purchase came in the form of a Porsche Cayenne, which they have since swapped for a Fiat Spyder for the summer months. Otherwise, they eat at the same Chinese restaurants and pizzerias and waited until the Easter sales to buy two 85-inch televisions for their new home, saving them over £500.
In the 14 months since their victory, not a single person has approached Laura or Kirk asking for money. But that didn’t stop them from helping their loved ones. “We’ve helped people,” Laura said. “We paid car payments for family members and replaced televisions that had broken down. (We helped) a friend who was having a little trouble with her business. But no one asked us for money .”
For Laura, quitting her job was a no-brainer now that she has a solid income. Kirk said: “I was telling Laura to quit her job for months and months, she was in so much trouble where she worked. Every day she came home in tears and then this wonderful thing happened. happened. There was no thought about it. It had to happen.
Now Laura, who says she loves her former colleagues but not her job, spends four days a week editing dozens of hours of footage that she records alongside Kirk on their paranormal adventures. Every weekend, the couple visit a spooky place, like the National Justice Museum in Nottingham, and set up six cameras in the hope of spotting something paranormal.
Highlights include a creepy figure that walked behind Laura as she moved through the tunnels under Smethwick, and several shadow figures. The edited films are uploaded to Youtube as K&L Ghost Hunters.
Laura says she’s living the “dream” working a job she loves on her own schedule, and feels a lot more relaxed about life now than she used to. Kirk didn’t give up his job as a manufacturing engineer and pursued his master’s degree in advanced manufacturing systems.
“I trained for nine years to get to this position,” he said. “There was no way I would quit. If you’re doing something you love, which I am, there’s no doubt about it.”
In the future, he plans to make paranormal investigation products using his carpentry and electronics skills.
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