A MAN who won a massive £22million lottery jackpot before spending £500,000 buying homes for his pals says not one of them speaks to him now.
Mark Gardiner, from Hastings, bagged the huge prize back in 1995 alongside best mate at the time Paul Maddison.
He wasted no time spending the money and lived the life of luxury.
Splashing out, Mark bought two football clubs, two boats, two homes in Barbados, an Aston Martin, a Harley-Davidson and two Mercedes – as well as putting millions into businesses.
Despite winning the jackpot with Paul, the pair lost touch and haven't seen each other for years.
And the generous winner now only has a small group of friends he trusts after spending thousands on helping people out before never hearing from them again.
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Mark said: "I spent £500,000 buying five friends houses when I won.
"Do you think they are still my friends? Like hell.
"Not one speaks to me. Having so much money has made me suspicious of people's intentions.
"It's horrible, but when someone's being nice then it does cross my mind what they are up to.”
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Mark has been married four times and split with his fourth wife Brenda in 2004 – vowing never to get married again.
And the former millionaire is only in contact with two relatives, his cousin June and Uncle Jim.
His three sisters and his mothers – both his biological one and the one who adopted him – are no longer part of his life.
Mark hasn't seen Paul since he failed to turn up for his and Brenda's wedding.
Paul now reportedly lives as a virtual recluse in a six-bedroom mansion in Scotland, having wed the woman he hired to clean it.
Mark said the win ruined his life.
In 2005, he said: "There are days when I curse my win and wish I'd never got involved.
“But I guess if I woke up one day and saw my rusty old van and bank loan and realised I'd dreamt all this up that would be pretty frightening, too."
He claimed that he has been sued “more times than I can remember,” adding that people wanted to have a pop at him because of his wealth.
Mark said: "Sometimes I think it would have been better to have won a much smaller amount.
"I love going somewhere where no one knows me and I can be a normal person."
He does though recognise winning so much money does have its upsides too.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain, he said: “I had to arrange some emergency healthcare and it was that great feeling that you can pick the phone up and organise the best hospital and healthcare for your relatives."
Perhaps biggest of all though is Mark’s sense of regret.
He described himself at the time of the win as being “just a puppy” and didn’t know what to do as he lacked experience.
He said: "If I could get in the Tardis I would chuck the old Mark Gardiner away and replace him with who I am now. A man with a lot of experience.”
When they won, Mark said he “did a really stupid thing” by giving the ticket to Paul who went to the shop to verify it.
As the shopkeeper was congratulating him on his win, a guy in the queue who knew them both nipped out to phone the papers, which was when “all hell broke loose”.
To keep himself grounded, Mark still goes to work every day at his firm, Croft Glass, and he seems to get genuine pleasure from it.
He said: "What can be better than someone saying, 'Thanks. You've done a lovely job on my windows.'
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“Now, if my money could buy comments like that I'd be a poor man because I'd buy them all the time."
Mark still plays the lottery and said to win the jackpot twice would be “amazing” as “you need money for a rainy day”.
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