Great: won lottery Not so great: press discovered you married your sister…

Lottery winner George Wass married to his sister Alice

EXCLUSIVE: Dark secret of £5m George

By Laurie Hanna  22/03/2008

A married couple who won £5.3million on the lotto are brother and sister.

George and Alice Wass share the same mother from different relationships.

The couple, who live in a caravan on an East London tip, met in 1983 when she traced her family roots. But the pair insist they had been told at the time they were not related.

Alice, 61, said last night: “I showed my mother photos of George and she said she’d never seen him before in her life.”


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They were introduced as long-lost brother and sister 25 years ago – and ended up as husband and wife.

George and Alice Wass insisted they had disproved claims they were related when they fell for each other at an emotional meeting in 1983.

But the £5.3million lottery winners’ tangled love life was unravelled when the Mirror yesterday confronted them with records that showed they shared the same mum, Margaret Wass.

Alice, 61, who lives in a caravan on a rubbish tip with George said: “This is all coming out now. What am I supposed to do?

“If I’m getting you right, we’ve got the same mother but different fathers. You have learnt a lot more than I have.” George, 63, walked out on his wife Mabel and their three children after he met widowed Alice.

Mabel said last night: “He was always nicknamed Crazy George so it was no real surprise when he did something like this.”

Alice was introduced to George after she asked the Salvation Army to look into her childhood history when her 19-year-old daughter Valerie was murdered in 1983.

She said she never knew her mum – by then wed to Frederick Holding – was married before and was shocked to learn she had a half-brother.

But her mother’s marriage certificate shows she was previously known as Margaret Wass.

Alice added: “The Salvation Army came back with the name George Wass. We met and George thought I was his sister and I thought George was my brother.” They soon fell head over heels for each other and five months later he moved into her house in Stratford, East London.

Alice said: “We started having feelings for one another so I told George we had to part and never see each other again.”

But she showed Margaret a load of photos he had given her of him and his dad Lionel Wass with brother Joseph. She denied knowing them.

Alice added: “I said ‘Mum, is that my father?’ It was an elderly man. She said, ‘Alice, where have you got this from?’

“I replied ‘I’ve been made to believe that is my father and if he is, this man here, George, is my brother.’

“She said, ‘I’ve never seen that man in my life before.'” George added: “I don’t know what my mother was and frankly I don’t give a damn. If that was my mother, my old man would have told me.”

The couple, who won the lotto jackpot last Saturday, wed in 1987.

George was born in India where Lionel was in the Army. After his birth the family moved back to England but his parents split. He was brought up by Lionel and lost touch with Margaret. Two years later, she gave birth to Alice in Ireland.

Nine years after that, in 1955, Margaret married Frederick, who Alice lists as her father on official documents. No birth certificate exists for George, who was born in a military hospital. And there appears to be no record of Alice‘s birth. It is possible, in the absence of these papers, that Alice was adopted which means they do not have the same biological mother. But Alice said the only mum she has ever known was Margaret.

Mabel, of Grays, Essex, confirmed he and Alice were introduced as brother and sister.

She said: “The Salvation Army wrote to him in 1983, saying they had tracked down a half-sister of his and asking if he would like to meet her.

“She came down to visit us. They had a connection but I had kind of expected that because they were brother and sister after all.

“Then she kept inviting him round to hers, asking him to help her do little things.

“That’s when I thought they were a bit too close.”

George and Alice, of Barking, East London, were thought to be staying in a hotel last night.


Alice Wass is still grieving for daughter Valerie, who was murdered by her dad before he committed suicide.

Heartbroken Alice told the Mirror: “I might have won £5.3m but it will not give me back the one thing I want – Valerie.”

Valerie, 19, was strangled and hidden under her bed in the family home in East London in October 1983.

The gruesome discovery only came after Aubrey Playfair, Alice‘s first husband, was found decapitated at a nearby railway line

Alice, who met George two months after the tragedy, said: “This money will do me no good because the one thing I want is dead. Since Valerie was murdered I’ve lived on tablets. I do not live the high life.”


By Tom Pettifor

Half the people separated from relatives at a young age experience strong sexual feelings when they are reunited.

Psychiatrists believe the natural repulsion brothers and sisters experience for each other as children acts as a barrier to incest.

But those who miss out on this process can develop obsessive feelings for their sibling in adulthood.

Research published in the British Medical Journal in 1995 found 50 per cent of people seeking post-adoption counselling “experienced strong sexual feelings in reunions” with their real family.

One example was Nick Cameron, 28, and his half-sister Danielle Heaney, 22, who were found guilty of incest.

The story of their bizarre relationship will be told in full in a Channel 4 documentary next week – Sleeping With My Sister.

Heaney, who has one child, was raised by her mother while Cameron was brought up in foster care. They had sex weeks after meeting in the summer of 2006.

The pair, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, were each put on probation for a year. But the court allowed them to continue their relationship as long as they didn’t have sex.


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