From despair to hope, Nicholas Hamilton’s battle with gambling addiction

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
From despair to hope, Nicholas Hamilton’s battle with gambling addiction

Nicolas Hamilton, brother of seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, (both pictured above, Nicolas on left), is no stranger to adversity. Born with cerebral palsy, he became the first disabled driver to compete against able-bodied rivals in the British Touring Car Championship. However, his most challenging race was not on the track, but against an all-consuming gambling addiction.

In his new book, ‘Now That I Have Your Attention’, Nicolas candidly shares his struggle with gambling, which began innocently with a £2 bet on Arsenal to score a goal. This seemingly harmless wager spiraled into a six-month binge of online casinos and blackjack, played in the solitude of his bedroom.

Nicolas’ addiction took a heavy toll, both financially and emotionally. He was forced to sell a Mercedes C63, a gift from his brother Lewis, to pay off a tax bill. The shame of using this cherished gift to settle his debts was overwhelming. “I felt so ashamed, using this amazing gift to pay my tax bill. It felt like I had practically stolen the money from my brother and I have never forgiven myself for that,” he writes in his book.

His addiction led him to a dark place, where he contemplated suicide. “I got a real wake-up call. I had no way of going forward because I’d lost everything. I was stuck. I had a balcony at my flat and I was thinking what would I do if I just jumped off it,” he reveals.

Hamilton’s battle off the track

During this time, his brother Lewis was dominating the F1 championship with Mercedes, earning an eight-figure salary. Despite his family’s success, Nicolas felt unable to share his struggles with them. Instead, he turned to the Samaritans helpline for support.

Nicolas’ story is a stark reminder of the destructive power of addiction. But it’s also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Despite his struggles, Nicolas continues to inspire millions through his racing career and his courage in sharing his personal journey.

In an interview with The Times, he reflects on his addiction, saying, “I wanted more of the winnings – and the losing didn’t really deter me. It just got me in a cycle. I couldn’t stop thinking about it – I just wanted to go back to my computer.”

Nicolas’ story serves as a powerful reminder that addiction does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, regardless of their achievements or status. His courage in sharing his story offers hope to others facing similar struggles, proving that it is possible to overcome addiction and reclaim one’s life. As Nicolas continues his journey, he remains a beacon of resilience and determination, both on and off the track.

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