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When you help others, it not only makes that person feel better, but you feel good too. For Frances Connolly, that feeling goes beyond your typical warm and fuzzy feelings; she says that she's “addicted” to helping others. The 55-year-old woman has plenty of means to perform good deeds. In 2019, she won the EuroMillions with a prize of £115m (about $143 million) and has already given away more than half of the money she won.
Frances and her husband, Patrick, initially agreed to a yearly charity budget. But because helping others gives Frances such “a buzz and it’s addictive,” she’s already spent the budget up to the year 2032.
Acts of service are at the heart of who Frances is. She’s a former social worker and teacher who, upon winning, immediately gave money to her friends and family. Additionally, she formed two charitable foundations: one named after her mother, Kathleen Graham, and the PFC Trust which helps support caregivers, the elderly, and refugees in her Northern Ireland hometown. Through her philanthropy, she assists people in obtaining employment while providing older folks with tablets so that they can stay in easy contact with their families.
Despite such a massive fortune, the couple lives a relatively humble life in Hartlepool, England. Patrick continues to run his plastics business, and the two moved into a six-bedroom house on seven acres of land. Frances can’t imagine spending their money on things like yachts or expensive bottles of wine—especially knowing that the same amount of money could change someone’s life for the better.
Winning the EuroMillions became a way for Frances to continue to be who she really is—a giver who deeply cares about other people. She understands that her winning changed her financial standing, but not her personality. “If you're stupid before you get it, you're going to be stupid afterwards,” she says of winning the lottery. “If I had any advice for a winner… I'd say money liberates you to be the person that you want to be.”
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