Winston the spendaholic: He teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and was saved by secret backhanders. Yet a new book on Churchill's finances reveals he spent £40,000 a year on casinos and £54,000 on booze
- Churchill spent most of his life swimming in a mountain of personal debt
- Gambled equivalent of £40,000 a year on holidays to the south of France
- Had £54,000 bill from his wine merchant, including £16,000 for Champagne
- Secret benefactor gave him £1million in 1940 as he became Prime Minister
CHURCHILL SANK 454 BOTTLES OF BUBBLY IN JUST TWO MONTHS
Faced with a £900 [£54,000 today] demand from his wine merchants Randolph Payne & Sons in 1936, Churchill checked the bill and found the total came to even more — £920 [£55,200], including £268 [£16,080] spent on champagne: ten magnums, 185 bottles and 251 pints of it.n At the outbreak of World War I, Churchill was smoking a dozen cigars a day, at about £13 a month [£1,300] — and he had not paid his suppliers, J Grunebaum & Sons, for five years.