Lottery winners from last 25 years explain what they’ve done with their millions
This may be the luckiest group of people in Britain.
They are 25 lottery winners from 25 consecutive years, brought together by Camelot to celebrate the first ever draw on November 19, 1994.
The winners have been pictured by celebrity photographer Sven Arnstein.
Since it began a whopping £71 billion in prize money has been paid to UK winners across all National Lottery games creating than 5,500 millionaires and multi-millionaires.
Currently, seven millionaires are made in an average week across all National Lottery games.
Here are their remarkable stories…
1995: Elaine Thompson, 63, of Killingworth, Tyne and Wear, won £2,704,666
Shares a four-bedroom detached house with husband Derek, 61.
“I kept a journal for my children since they were born and it tells the story of the Lottery win and how it changed our lives.
“They had to work throughout their teens and seeing them go to university and buy their own houses – with much of their own savings – was a defining moment for me.
1996: Deana Sampson, 58, of Sheffield, South Yorks, won £5,439,681
“I had £3.60 in my bank account when I won, and life was a real struggle.
“I bought my parents a bungalow and took 22 family members on a luxury holiday to Jamaica.
“I spent £800,000 on a yacht on my 40th birthday.”
1997: Cheryl Brudenell, 52, of Stockton-on-Tees, won £916,915
She has two children and lives with husband Mark, 54.
“The Lottery win has allowed me to indulge in my passion for Robbie Williams, but I’ve never totted up how much it has cost to see him around 40 times in concert, in places as far flung as Barcelona, Vegas, Berlin and Belgium.”
1998: Viv Moss, 68, of Newquay, Cornwall, won £6,048,499
Lives with husband Kevin, 73, and has two children.
“The shock of winning was like an unexpected death. I had sickness and diarrhea for a fortnight, and lost a stone in weight, going from a size 16 to a 12.
“I taught hair and beauty at a local college, but I couldn’t let the class down, so I carried on working for eight months until the end of their course.
“We went from a four-bed home to a five-bed, and drove our Ford Escort to a Range Rover showroom.
“The salesman was called Rupert and when we told him we’d pay cash, he said ‘You’ve either just won the Lottery, or sold a business.’
“We told him we had hit the jackpot. I swapped my eight-year-old Ford Focus for a convertible, but the dog didn’t like the wind in his ears, so I later chose a Bentley instead.”
1999: Sam Lange, 47, from Seaford, won £1,575,878
She lives with partner Malcolm and has three children as well as a stepson.
“When I won the Lottery, I had been saving £50 a week to go and see my dad in New Zealand, after four years apart. We were raising my partner’s son and I was working weekends while Malcolm worked shifts.
“We were suddenly able to visit Dad for a month and take him to places he’d never dreamed like flying up a mountain and swimming with dolphins.
“It was a £5,000 trip but worth every penny. We stayed in the same house, built an extension and had three children of our own.
“We also bought a holiday home in France which has given us many happy family holidays together. I was able to give up work, and devote myself to being a mum.”
2000: Ray Wragg, 81, from Sheffield, won £7,649,520
He lost his wife Barbara last year and lives in the five-bed bungalow she chose after their win.
“The morning after I won the Lottery, I rang my boss to resign. When I told him I’d had a win, he said ‘That reminds me, I need to check my ticket.’ I said ‘Don’t bother Dave – I won the lot!’
“I had never been out of the country when we won the Lottery, and I didn’t even own a passport.
“My wife Barbara didn’t like flying, so we’d been on holiday to Torquay for 31 years on the trot.
“After winning, we decided to try a cruise and we loved it. We bought a Range Rover, and filled it with Easter Eggs for the local kids from a school in Sheffield, and paid for them to have a holiday at a farm.
“I’ll never forget, they had never seen rabbits or guinea pigs – and they were scared. I read about a local boy whose bike had been stolen, and I delivered him a new mountain bike. The look on his face was perhaps my happiest Lottery moment.”
2001: Tom Naylor, 64, from Wheaton Aston, Staffs, won £15,528,286
He lives with wife Rita, 62, in a four-bed barn conversion.
“I was absolutely convinced I’d win the Lottery one day, and I’d tell my friends ‘When my numbers come up, I’ll get a car for every day of the week.’
“Now, I have two Aston Martins, three Jaguars, a Ford Mustang and a Land Rover Discovery. Not bad considering my old car was a Ford Granada.
“My biggest extravagance was flying nine family members to New York via Concorde. It cost £25,000 and when we saw three giant white stretch limos waiting for us outside the airport, it was an incredible moment.
“When we arrived at the hotel, all the tourists pulled their cameras out because they thought we were famous. I felt ten foot tall.”
2002: Sarah Ibbetson, 41, from Leeds, won £3,013,767
She lives with husband Aldan and their three children.
“I was on maternity leave as a dental nurse when we won, and our daughter Alicia was six months old.
“It meant I could be a stay-at-home mum for her, and our other two children who arrived later.
“We were only 24 when we won, and the first things we bought were a Mercedes and a Porsche.
“We went into the car showroom, and when the guy asked how we’d pay, and we said debit card, his face was a picture.
“We made it onto the Sunday Times Rich List, and we’ve still got a copy, with our name at the bottom.
“We went from a three-bed semi to a five-bed detached, and started our own number plate business which we run together in our office.”
2003: Trish Emson, 49, from Rotherham, won £1,747,728
She lives with partner Graham Norton and son Benjamin.
“We had been saving for IVF after trying for five and a half years for a baby, and I lost four stone in weight because I wanted to qualify for the treatment.
“I was due to start fertility treatment in January, and I was so happy when we won, because I knew we could afford more attempts if our first didn’t work.
“A few weeks after our win, we were invited to an England Rugby game, but the champagne made me feel sick. Two weeks later, we discovered I was pregnant, and Benjamin was born in August.
“It was like winning the Lottery all over again. We bought him a babygro which said ‘Millionaire in training.’ Our greatest moment was flying Benjamin to Lapland when he was eight – and seeing the look on his face when he met Santa.”
2004: Ben Woods, 38 from Liverpool, won £2,485,736
He lives with wife Leanne and their three children.
“I was 23, single and living at home when I won. I finished my shift as a railway guard, and went to the local pub. Mum and dad were sitting there, white with shock, because they’d checked my numbers.
“Dad said he needed to talk to me alone in the toilets, and I thought ‘What have I done?’ I was sure I was about to be told off.
“The money has paid for 12 trips to New York, holidays for my mum and dad, a house for my sister and a five-bed house for me.
“I met my future wife nine months after the win, and when I turned up to collect her for our first date in a brand new Range Rover, her Nan said ‘I think he’s a drug dealer!’
“Now, we have three children and I’m a stay at home dad. My life has totally changed – for the better.”
2005: Sarah Cockings, 36, from Whitley Bay, won £3,045,705
She lives with her partner and three children.
“My eldest son is six, and he tells everyone I won the Lottery. He came home from school and said ‘I told my teacher you won the jackpot and she was laughing.’
“I bought my house outright, and I have a nice car but I live a very normal life. I went back to university to study after winning, because my Mum so wanted that picture of me graduating – which she has now on her mantelpiece.
“My sisters and I live just seven minutes from each other, and our children are all best friends. Just after I won, I bought my two sisters boob jobs, and everyone remembers that.
“But now I’ve had one myself, because mine were wrecked by breastfeeding. Now, it’s my two-year boob birthday. I love them!”
2006: Mother-of-three Geraldine Bradley, 50, won £3,570,063 as part of a family syndicate
She lives in Gwynnon, Llanarthne, south-west Wales with husband Christopher, 48.
“My first thought when I realised I’d won was I wanted to get my ironing done before the press came around. I remember thinking ‘The house needs to be ship shape!’
“The first thing we actually bought was a £9.99 Kentucky Fried Chicken to celebrate, although our first big purchase was a new Mercedes some four months later.
“We moved to a four-bedroom country home with three reception rooms, a snooker room, a maze in the grounds and a lake at the bottom, with geese.
“We’ve been able to support our children as they have grown-up and go on some amazing trips around the World.”
2007: Kerri-Ann Robinson, 41, won £2,543,691
She lives in Stevenage, Herts, with husband Tony and two children.
“I was a mature student studying for a diploma in business at college when my daughter, who was three, begged me for a blackcurrant juice.
“I rushed out on the Wednesday lunchtime, bought her the juice and as an afterthought, chose a Lucky Dip for the Lotto draw that night.
“I checked the numbers the next day at college, during break, and when I realised I had won, everything went blurry.
“I put my ticket in my pencil case, rang my mum and burst into tears. She thought something terrible had happened.
“I went from wearing costume jewellery to buying the real thing. I married Tony in 2010 in a dream wedding – and walking down the aisle was one of the most magical moments of my life.”
2008: Tracy Field, 51, won £2,561,513
She lives in a four bedroom house in Benfleet, Essex. She has two grown-up sons.
“I had been struggling as a single mum with three jobs, servicing vending machines, cleaning and delivering catalogues, when I was diagnosed with cancer.
“2007 was my lowest year, because I felt so ill, and I lost my long hair. I won the following year, just as I was beginning to get my life back.
“I realised I had won late at night, and I felt compelled to go and buy something, after years of scrimping.
“I went to Tesco at Midnight in my pyjamas, and bought a box of Bonio dog biscuits, because I couldn’t think of what else to buy. I went from a three-bed semi to a four-bed detached, which cost £430,000.
“I’ve also helped my two sons out with homes, but the best thing I spend money on is private medical treatment. I found some more lumps, and instead of waiting, I was able to have scans instantly to put my mind at rest.”
2009: Brian Caswell, 84, from Bolton, won £24,951,269.40 on EuroMillions
He lives in a five-bedroom detached home in Bolton with wife Joan, 82.
“I went to collect the newspapers, and I checked my ticket at the same time.
“I had all six numbers, and I walked home a little in shock. When I got to my gate, the neighbour Stan said ‘Have you heard? A grey haired bloke who lives locally has won the Lottery!’
“We’d lived in that house for 48 years, but after we won, it was clear we’d have to move. We bought ourselves a house, and a house for each of our adult daughters, all in the same day.
“Our favourite moment has been taking our grandchildren to Lapland on a private plane.
“Five years ago, I needed an emergency quadruple by-pass, and instead of waiting, our daughter researched the top surgeon and I paid to go private – so the Lottery has kept me healthy as well as happy.
“Joan and I have just celebrated our Diamond wedding anniversary and feel very lucky in life; i even won a tenner last week!”
2010: Susan Herdman, 51, from Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, won £1, 182,714
She lives with farmer partner Andrew.
“I was a single parent, raising my son Jake and turning down the thermostat because I couldn’t afford the bills, when I won. I think I immediately turned the heating up, and I realised I’d never be cold again.
“I owned a hair salon and I carried on for nine months after I won. Then, I picked up a magazine in the salon and read a story about a woman who’d had a perfect life, and suddenly died.
“It was a lightbulb moment. I sold my salon two days later and never looked back.
“I turned to my hobby of Autograss racing, and won the national championships in 2016 and 2017.
“I’ve also done a skydive, ridden in a cowboy ranch and completed the longest zipwire in Europe.”
2011: Geoffrey Bennette, 70, won £3,530,707
He lives near Blackburn with wife Hilary, 63.
“I had recently retired as a manager at Bolton Council. I discovered we’d won early on the Sunday morning, but as I was volunteering at a cycling event for the day I left the ticket at home before contacting Camelot.
“As we love travelling by train, we’ve since explored South Africa, Scandinavia, India, New Zealand and Australia. Whilst in Australia, celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, we visited Uluru (Ayres Rock) when a rainbow appeared.
“It was a magical moment, so rare even the tour guides ran off the buses with their cameras.
“You can’t put a price on the experiences we’ve had and memories we’ve made.”
2012: Libby Elliot, 57 from Aberdeenshire, won £2,159,664
An empty nester now her four children have left home, she is currently buying a new house.
“My dad gave me the money for my Lotto ticket. I’d taken his grandchildren to visit him in hospital, and he handed them pocket money then gave me two pounds pocket money, on a whim, I put it on the Lucky Dip on my way home.
“The day after I won, Dad had an appointment at the fracture clinic after a fall. I took him to hospital, and he turned and said ‘Look at you. You’re a multi-millionaire and yet you’re sitting here beside me.’
“That still makes me cry. Dad died just before last Christmas, and now my four children have left home, I’m travelling the world on dream trips, from Jerusalem to Route 66 to Buenos Aires.
“I’ve lost 11 stone in total since winning and I’m fitter than I’ve ever been. I bit my nails before I won the Lottery, but now I have beautiful sparkly nails and I love my regular manicures.”
2013: Dione Buss, 53, from Somerset, won £1,888,630
She lives in Bridgwater, Somerset with husband Richard, 54.
“I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when our daughter Harriet was a baby, and I realised I couldn’t do up the poppers on her babygro.
“I had up to four relapses a year, but the worst was when Harriet was 13, and I ended up paralysed in hospital for a week.
“Thankfully, I responded to steroids but our daughter had to help me onto the toilet and into the bath. No child should have to face that.
“I had just returned to work for the local council after months of sick leave when I won the Lotto jackpot. It improved my health – because my condition can be made worse by stress and exhaustion.
“Richard and I went to see the Great Wall of China, which had been his childhood dream – and standing there, we both became really emotional.
“It really hit home at that moment that our lives had changed. Our daughter has just got married, and we have had an amazing weekend of wedding celebrations.
“Other goosebump moments are our incredible worldwide travel adventures.”
2014: Matt Myles, 33, from from Hereford, won £1,000,000 on the EuroMillions Raffle
He lives in a converted chapel with pregnant wife Stacy and their son.
“I actually had a panic attack when the man from Camelot arrived with the cheque. I was a single lad and I immediately quit my job and flew to Bali on holiday with seven of my mates.
“It was the first of many lads’ holidays – but then I met Stacy, who knocked me for six.
“She was so un-materialistic, and she worked as a play therapist with children. We planned a world trip together, but when we got to China, Stacy became unwell.
“I took her to hospital, where they ran tests but nobody spoke English.
“Finally, they took us into the room, flashed up a baby scan and all the doctors started clapping. I looked at the screen and became so emotional – I actually had my second panic attack.
“Our son was born in December 2017, and now our second baby is due. We live in a converted chapel and I’m buying extra land for a football pitch for my sons.”
2015: Anne Canavan, 58, from Northern Ireland, won £1,054,000 on EuroMillions
“I was washing my car on the afternoon of the draw, and I said to my neighbour ‘It’s about time someone from around here won the Lottery.’
“Normally, I always waited a week before checking my Lottery numbers, but that night, at 1.00am, I suddenly had the urge to check the results, so I switched my laptop on.
“When I realise I’d won, I woke my daughter up, but it took half an hour to convince her that I wasn’t joking.
“After that, we stayed up all night with cups of tea, planning what to do with the money. I still live in the same four-bed house I had before I won. I spent £50,000 doing it up, and I bought four further properties as investments.
“Winning Euromillions has given me the freedom to design and invent new products and I have 17 innovations currently in development.”
2016: Jamie Heavens, 26, from Bournemouth, won £1,000,000 on a Millionaire Riches Scratchcard
He lives with his wife Danielle and their young son.
“I was working as a roofer for the family firm when my uncle sent me to refuel the truck. The first petrol station didn’t do fuel cards, so I drove to another, and then the man in front of me bought a scratch card, so I picked the same card as him.
“I drove to a layby to scratch it, and realised I’d won. But it was 7.30 in the morning, and I still had a day’s shift ahead.
“I couldn’t get signal, so I climbed onto the roof we were working on, and rang Camelot. I won a million pounds and earned another £100 for my shift.
“My son Hughie was nine weeks old, and although I’d already proposed to Danielle, and the win gave us the day of our dreams.
“The wedding cost £25,000 but we had a band, a videographer and a massive marquee. I bought a business and I still work, but now I’m my own boss.”
2017: Bev Middleton, 40, from Bradford, won £14,509,500 on EuroMillions
She lives with her four children and fiance Colin.
“I was living on a council estate, struggling to raise four children – two of whom were autistic – I was in debt and on benefits.
“Then I won, and I bought a house outright just five minutes up the road, near the special school my children attend. I rang to cancel my benefits and the lady nearly dropped the phone when I said I’d won the Lottery.
“One of the best things I’ve been able to do is send my son, who struggles socially, to private school. He’s no longer bullied and he’s now on the rugby team.
“Meanwhile I paid £7,000 for a gastric sleeve last year. I was nearly 17 stone, and I’m now 11, and I went from almost size 20 to a 12. I love buying new clothes.
“I also bought a car, two houses and a holiday home, but it’s the weight loss and being able to support my children which have changed my life the most.”
2018: Arron Walshaw, 33, won £1,000,000 on Lotto
He lives in Ossett, West Yorkshire, with fiancé Ceri, 24, and their two young children.
“When I saw my ticket stuck to the fridge door by a magnet, and decided to check the results on the app, I thought I’d been pranked.
“When we realised it was true, we went straight onto RightMove to look for a new house.
“We found our dream home three weeks later. Just one month after the win, we conceived our second baby together – and it felt like winning the Lottery all over again.
“We called our new daughter Lottie. I’m a plasterer and I still work, but I’m around to be hands on with the children too.”
2019: Natalie Metcalf, 38, from Thornbury, South Glos, won £1,000,000 on EuroMillions
She lives with fiancé Andy Symes, 41, and their two children.
“I was eight months pregnant when I won, and I could only have a few tiny sips of champagne that night.
“The next day, we went to view a new house and I went into labour a month early. I’m convinced it was the shock.
“Our daughter was born on 5 February, and holding her in my arms was one of the happiest moments of my life. Andy’s dad is one of four boys, Andy is one of three boys, he also has two nephews plus we already had a son, Noah.
“So having a little girl felt like all my dreams had come true – and we called her Poppy Marie Lottie, in honour of our win.
“She was just two weeks old when we went to view more houses – and we bought one, and filled it with brand new furniture.
“Next year, we’re getting married and our happiness will be complete.”
A version of this story originally appeared here.
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