TRAGIC EuroMillions winner Margaret Loughrey gave loved ones £1million each – and had just finished her dream home when she was found dead.
The 56-year-old, who claimed a £27million win eight years ago, said the money had "destroyed her" before her sad death this week.
Neighbours say Ms Loughrey – known as 'Maggie Millions' – had recently transformed a derelict property nicknamed 'the barn' into a stunning home for herself.
Paul Gallagher told the Belfast Telegraph: "She had been living in a bungalow next to it and the barn was just finished, I believe.
"It's a pity she didn't get to enjoy her new home."
And he said people were "shocked" by her death.
"Margaret was well-known and did a lot of good, charitable work around the town," he said.
Ms Loughrey bought the winning ticket from shop SuperValu when she was walking back home from the Job Centre.
At the time, she was living on benefits of just £58 every week.
After her win, she gifted family members £1million – and even handed out £5,000 each to neighbours on her council estate in Strabane, Northern Ireland.
She invested in a property empire, spending cash on a bungalow, a pub and a former mill-turned-leisure centre.
But the jackpot caused her life to spiral. She was sectioned just months after the draw, and in 2015 carried out 150 hours of community service after assaulting a taxi driver.
Three years later, she had to pay £30,000 to a former employee for bullying and firing him on a “vindictive whim”.
Ms Loughrey later said she regretted buying the ticket.
"I regret winning the lottery. Of course I do," she said.
'IT'S DESTROYED MY LIFE'
"I was a happy person before. I am a human being and all it has done is destroy my life."
And she said she had just £5million left of the win – adding: "You can't take your money with you.
"There's no shroud with pockets."
She had vowed to share her wealth with friends in her hometown after the win, telling reporters: "No point having £27m and being lonely.
"That can't make me happy."
Sadly, her troubles only deepened, and she said the money had "sent her to hell and back".
She was found dead at her home yesterday morning.
I regret winning the lottery. I was a happy person before
Cops and paramedics rushed to the property, but despite their efforts, Ms Loughrey was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are not treating the tragedy as suspicious.
A PSNI spokesman said: "Police received a report of the sudden death of a woman at the Ballycolman Lane area of Strabane on Thursday, September 2.
"A post-mortem is due to take place but at this stage, the death is not being treated as suspicious."
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service confirmed they also attended the house on Thursday morning.
A NIAS spokesman said: "We were called to an emergency in the Ballycolman area of Strabane at 10.30am this morning.
"No patients were taken from the scene."
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