The winner of one of the biggest lottery jackpots ever in Europe died at the age of 71, months after he and his wife broke up.

Colin Weir, of North Ayrshire in Scotland, won £ 161m ($ 301.8m) in 2011 after he and his wife bought a ticket in the Euromillions super jackpot draw.

At the age of 63 at the time of his victory, Weir was a longtime TV operator who was about to retire with his wife, the psychiatric nurse Chris.

The Weirs have become the 22 richest people in Scotland during the night. (PA / AAP)

The record-breaking victory made Weir the 22nd richest person in Scotland overnight and the recipient of the biggest lottery prize ever won by a UK resident.

Despite suddenly finding themselves on the rich list, the Weirs have modestly spent their considerable winnings.

Avoiding a stay abroad on a tropical island, the couple went to the British seaside town of Brighton, where they planned how they would spend their winnings.

The first item purchased by Weir was a plaid sports coat like the one worn by his idol, the Scottish sports television journalist Arthur Montford.

Colin and Chris spent their money largely within their local community. (EPA / AAP)

They then purchased a £ 850,000 ($ 1.6 million AUD) four-bedroom home in Largs, where they could retire without being too far from family and friends.

A passionate football fan, Weir purchased a majority stake in the Partick Thistle Football Club, which he intended to pass on directly to fans.

Earlier this year Weir separated from his wife Chris in a “friendly separation” after 38 years of marriage.

Mr. Weir died shortly after Christmas after suffering a “short illness”.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce Colin Weir’s disappearance early today after a brief illness,” a family spokeswoman said in a statement.

“We would like to ask for privacy for your family and friends in this distressing moment.

Colin (R) and Chris Weir, of Largs in Ayrshire, celebrate their victory at the Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa in Falkirk, Scotland, Great Britain, 15 July 2011, after raising GBP 161 million (€ 184 million, 260 million US dollars) in the EuroMillions draw on July 12th. (EPA / AAP)

“No further comments will be made except to offer sincere thanks to the staff of Ayr University Hospital for their care and compassion.”

The biggest lottery win in world history was from a Californian family, who brought in $ 983.5 million ($ 1.4 billion) in 2016.

Desiring to avoid becoming a spotlight, the family thanked lottery officials for their “special gift” and said that much of the money would go to charity.


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