Posted on: August 26, 2022, 07:22h. 

Last updated on: August 26, 2022, 11:44h.

Kirk Stevens thought he had it all – good luck in love and in life. He and his girlfriend, Laura Hoyle, won a windfall lottery, only to have Hoyle kick him out and keep all the money for herself.

National Lottery Set For Life winners
National Lottery Set For Life winners celebrate their big win. The couple has now split, leaving one with no claim to the money. (Image: Raymonds Press)

In March 2021, Stevens and Hoyle won £10,000 (US$11,791) a month in the UK National Lottery’s “Set For Life” draw, according to The Sun. The life of the prize is 30 years, offering a net of £3.6 million (US$4.24 million).

The happy couple thought they had it all. They continued to talk about their plans for the future, which included starting a business and possibly getting married. A year later, Hoyle changed her mind, leaving Stevens stranded.

Luck Runs Out

Stevens and Hoyle had been living together for more than two years, and were a normal, happy couple. She didn’t have to pay any rent; far from broke, Hoyle had sold her home and could have contributed financially to the household. However, Stevens explained that he would have felt awkward asking his unemployed girlfriend to pitch in.

Instead, they decided that she would cover a £25 (US$29.47) weekly lottery purchase. With the agreement in place, they, like any couple, would occasionally discuss what would happen if they won. For a year-and-a-half, Stevens and Hoyle seemed to be on the same path.

That’s when good fortune struck. Lucky in love and lottery, they were ready for the next chapter in their lives. In accepting the lottery winnings, both of their names appeared on the ceremonial check and photographs showed a happy couple basking in the money falling from heaven.

Laura had told me we’d live the life of Riley if we won. Now she’s gone. She pulled the plug and took everything. She even wants our two dogs,” said lottery winner Kirk Stevens.

They started making plans on how to spend the money. Hoyle bought herself a sports car and they started a business together. They were to become professional ghost hunters.

At the same time, Hoyle may have already set the wheels in motion to take her life in a different direction. Despite the two having agreed to share the fortune, she began giving him just £1,000 (US$1,179) a month. Ultimately, Hoyle decided her path needed to go in a different direction.

Follow Your Gut

Stevens admitted the split wasn’t a complete shock. He continued to work after the lottery win, partly to have a “sense of purpose” and partly because he “never felt secure enough with Laura” to quit. That proved to be a wise choice, based on the outcome.

When the windfall hit, the couple – with Laura as titleholder – made a down payment to build a £500,000 (US$589,250) home. When it came time to move in, Hoyle took the home for herself, leaving Stevens stranded.

Now, he doesn’t even get the monthly allowance Hoyle used to provide. Unfortunately, he may not have any legal footing, either. Camelot, soon to be the UK’s former lottery operator, provided its take on the matter.

Only an individual can win a lottery prize; it doesn’t matter if two or a hundred people pitch in to make the purchase. Therefore, because Laura bought the ticket that won, she’s the rightful millionaire. Stevens can launch a legal fight, but his odds of winning are likely worse than taking another run at a lottery prize.