A couple on benefits who won £50,000 in a lottery spent the lot in a year – and are now demanding their handouts back.
Jobless Jamie and Abbie Hort scooped the massive windfall at Christmas 2014 but within twelve months blew it all.
They splashed the cash on designer clothes, holidays, new furniture and a giant TV for their flat.
But the money has now all gone and they face eviction from their home – and are asking for income support and housing benefit.
The couple admit they have been ‘silly’ with the winnings but say they ”deserved to buy nice stuff” and now need state help.
But officials are refusing to hand their benefits back and the couple say they’ve had the ‘worst Christmas ever’ and after the windfall all they have left is – a big tele.
Mr Hort said: “When we first won the money, we were very excited and we helped sort our family out with some money and went shopping.
“We had no other income source so the money was going on things like food. Sometimes we were spending £70 a day on food.
“We were a bit silly with it, it could have lasted a lot longer, I’ll admit that. But all we want now is some help.”
The couple, from Guernsey, scooped £50,000 as second prize on the Channel Islands Christmas lottery in 2014.
They were in #200-a-week bedsit paid for with housing benefit but because of their win the free money stooped and they moved out and into their own place.
The couple did the new flat up with furniture and a 50 inch television but in December the their winnings ran out and they were evicted.
They then used money they had put aside for their children to secure a new flat but they say they can’t afford any more rent on the #700 a month place and face eviction.
Social Security, which is responsible for welfare claims on the Channel Island of Guernsey, have refused to help.
The couple say social security have accused them of not being able to account for #24,000 – around half of the lottery money.
Mrs Hort, 21, who is unemployed, said: “We need to pay the rent on Friday or we are going to be kicked out.
“Neither of us have jobs. I am trying to get work. My husband is a scaffolder but there is no work around at the moment.
“They want to see receipts from the statements as they don’t believe all the money has gone. The £50,000 went in eight months but they don’t believe us.
“They think we still have £24,000 but we would not have been evicted from two places if we had that sort of money left.”
Mrs Hort says they spent all their money on rent and bills and decked their flat out with furniture.
She said: “We helped our family out and went on one holiday to Jersey to do some shopping.
“We moved in to a one bedroom flat but it had nothing in it. When we won the lottery we had to start from scratch.
“We bought a sofa, wardrobe, chest of drawers, fridge, televisions and cutlery.
“We bought a few bits of clothing – my husband likes designer clothing so bought some Diesel, Ralph Lauren and Franklin & Marshall items.
“But we won the lottery so we deserved to buy nice stuff.
“The couch and the furniture and everything else couldn’t fit into the new place so that has now all gone.
“We had to sell it to live and get food. All we have left is the television and my husband has some nice designer clothes.
“The TV, which is a Sharp flatscreen 50 inch model is pretty much all we have got left now.”
Mrs Hort says they have got until Friday to pay the #700 rent to stay in their current home.
She said: “We are just fed up getting messed around by the social. All we want is help – we need help with the rent and getting back to work.
“This has been going on for a few months but no-one is helping us. The social are also saying that even if we did get some help in future it would only be half of what we used to get.
“They keep making me go and see Job Seekers but that has been a complete waste of time and we have got nothing.”
Unemployed scaffolder Mr Hort, 29, said their money ran out just before Christmas and admitted they had been “a bit silly” with it.
He said said if the money had not run out they would not be asking for help and the couple are living off handouts from Mr Hort’s mother.
He said: ”Basically they are calling us liars saying we have #24,000 stashed somewhere.
“It’s horrible – I hate asking my mum to get us things like milk and bread. It’s heartbreaking. We are hoping they [Social Security] will help us.”
He said it had been the worst Christmas ever as they could only afford one present each for their children.
The pair said they had been actively searching for jobs but there was nothing around.
Mr Hort said: “Obviously we want to get back to work – I worked pretty much from the age of nine until I was 22 and 23.
“I’ve been looking for jobs but with everything you have to be professional and qualified. Trying to get a job is like finding a needle in a haystack.”
A spokesman for Social Security said it was unable to comment on individual cases in the media.
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