Michael Carroll, Disgraced Lottery Winner Who Spent His Fortune On Drugs, Now Works In Cookie Factory

07/09/2013 02:57 pm ET | Updated Jul 10, 2013

The higher they fly, the harder lottery winners seem to fall.

Michael Carroll, a British lottery winner who may be one of the best examples of what not to do with your windfall, has resurfaced working in a cookie factory in Scotland.

A man who reportedly used to snort cocaine using the casing of a solid gold pen now says he is happy to collect his weekly salary of £204 (about $300) earned packing and stacking shortbread and cookies on an assembly line.

"I treasure those wages more than any £9million fortune," Carroll said, according to the Daily Record. “I’ve only got one chance left –- I’d have been dead in six months if I’d carried on that lifestyle of drinking and drug taking.”

Carroll's meteoric and widely derided rise began in 2002, when the then-19-year-old garbage man won £9.7 million (about $14.4 million). The teenager was already a petty criminal and collected his winnings with a police-ordered electronic monitoring anklet, according to the BBC.

Throughout the next few years, Carroll gained infamy for his extravagant lifestyle, which included massive drug use, gaudy golden jewelry, prostitutes and a jail sentence in 2006, the outlet notes.

After buying a mansion known as "The Grange" in the English town of Swaffham, Carroll terrorized the villagers, outfitting the house as a graveyard for his amateur demolition derbies and once using a catapult to vandalize local shop windows in the middle of the night, according to The New York Times.

By 2012, it was widely reported that Carroll's gravy train had run dry, with the man the tabloids dubbed "the Lotto lout" admitting he was broke, living off unemployment and suicidal. He was also estranged from the mother of his young daughter, according to Time magazine.

The Daily Record reports that Carroll's move to Elgin, Scotland, was meant both as a break from his old life and, hopefully, the beginning of new one closer to his family.

“I camped out in the woods near Elgin because I had nowhere else to go and hadn’t started the job at the factory," Carroll told the paper. "Sitting there in the woods was when I first thought I can sort myself out properly."

According to the Daily Mirror, locals initially didn't recognize Carroll because of his recent weight loss, and at least one source told the site that so far he seemed to be keeping his nose clean.

Banned from driving, Carroll now bicycles everywhere and counts his most expensive possession as an Xbox game console, according to The Record.

“I used to arrange banger-racing in the field behind my mansion but these days I just play Grand Theft Auto and Grid 2 on my Xbox," he said. “In the crazy days, I’d wake up, do a line of cocaine, then open a can of lager. These days, it’s bran flakes for ­breakfast at 7 a.m. then maybe a cycle before work."

View the video below to see a teaser of a planned documentary on Carroll's life after spending most of his lottery winnings.

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