Ex-Prisoner Wins £7.2M Lottery Jackpot After Serving Time for Sex Offense

A serial sex offender who had been serving a prison sentence was the lucky recipient of a £7.2 million (US$9 million) jackpot in 2004 when he won the UK lottery.

Iorworth Hoare, 70, had been sentenced to life in 1989 for a series of sexual attacks in Leeds, England, and had served 16 years of his term. It was while he was temporarily freed from Leyhill minimum-security prison as part of a community-based program that he purchased the ticket that would change his life.

Despite inmates being restricted from gambling within prison facilities, Hoare was permitted to buy the ticket during his mandated freedom, and subsequently won the lottery. His access to the funds, however, was limited since he was only able to withdraw £8,666 per month (US$10,800), totaling £1.9 million (US$2.4 million) over 19 years.

The case of Shirley Woodman, his last victim, paved the way for many other victims of historical abuse to come forward and seek justice. Woodman had neglected to sue Hoare initially due to his lack of funds, and instead had to settle for £5,000 (US$5,680) from the government’s victim compensation scheme. The House of Lords overturned the decision in 2008, and Woodman, who chose to waive her right to anonymity, was awarded £50,000 (US$57,000) in compensation. Hoare was also ordered to pay legal costs of around £800,000 (US$909,000).

In court, Hoare referred to himself as “Britain’s most hated millionaire,” and admitted to receiving death threats.

Woodman, who passed away last year at the age of 92, was honored by the Queen in 2012 for her services to victims, and donated the money she had received from Hoare to charitable causes. Her daughter, Shelley Wolfson, recently suggested that Hoare should do the same with the remaining lottery winnings, believing that he could not “live a frivolous life” because of his past.