Euromillions winner’s son given £1.6m, but sues dad for more

Judge dismisses claim after hearing Michael Dawes spent nearly £1m in just a month

Michael Dawes (32), took his father Dave and stepmother Angie (both above, after their 2011 Euromillions win) to court after they stopped giving him money. He claimed the couple had promised to ensure he and his partner, James Beedle (34), would never have to worry about money again. File photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Michael Dawes (32), took his father Dave and stepmother Angie (both above, after their 2011 Euromillions win) to court after they stopped giving him money. He claimed the couple had promised to ensure he and his partner, James Beedle (34), would never have to worry about money again. File photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

A man who was given nearly £1.6 million (€1.86 million) by his father after the latter and his stepmother won £101 million in the Euromillions has had his claim upon him for more cash thrown out by a judge.

Michael Dawes (32), took his father, Dave, and stepmother Angie to court after they stopped giving him money. He claimed the couple had promised to ensure he and his partner, James Beedle (34), would never have to worry about money again.

The central London County Court heard they had been given more than £1.5 million in the two years following the lottery win in 2011, but that most of this cash was quickly spent.

‘Profligate son’

Judge Nigel Gerald dismissed the claim, saying Dave Dawes did not need to keep “bailing out his profligate son”.

He said: “There was no basis on which any rational or normal human being could conclude that they could go back for more money whenever they wanted.”

Michael Dawes was given £1 million by his father and stepmother soon after their win, but the judge said nearly all of it had been spent within a month.

About £550,000 was spent on a house in Portsmouth, where Michael lived, but he also gave nearly £250,000 to friends and his partner’s family, and quit a well-paid IT job.

At one point, the pair were spending up to £30,000 a month, including £1,000 a week on groceries. The judge compared their lifestyle to “some sort of Walter Mitty existence”.

Kept transferring money

Dave Dawes was unaware his son had given away so much of the money and was baffled when he claimed to have run out of most of it by April 2012. But he wanted to help him, the judge said, and kept transferring money to his bank account.

Gerald added: “Michael took this as a demonstration that his father would cough up whenever asked, and this therefore buttressed his strange conclusion that his dad would financially support him for the rest of his life.” He concluded: “I cannot accept this.”

By March 2013, Dave and Angie Dawes called a family meeting and agreed to pay off some of the Michael and his partner’s debts but that no more funds would be forthcoming. Gerald said: “Angie made clear that there would be nothing more.”

Verbal abuse

Michael Dawes has not spoken to his father and stepmother since a falling out at her birthday party when he demanded £5 million more and verbally abused Angie Dawes. He has also accused them of being arrogant and ungenerous of spirit.

Michael Dawes told the court: “I saw how over time their attitude changed from being relatively humble to being rather grand. They expected the people around them to treat them differently because of their money.”

The couple’s QC, Richard Wilson, said they had shared their good fortune with their family, giving away some £30 million to relatives and close friends, as well as setting up a charity.

The judge concluded: “Michael was provided with the funds to have a comfortable life, but for his own reasons he chose not to take that opportunity. I therefore dismiss the claim.”

Guardian service