Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homes

Winning the lottery is something which many people can only dream of but for this lucky few that wish came true. Hitting the jackpot can open up endless possibilities for lottery winners and their families, from moving house and buying a new car to jetting off across the world on trips of a lifetime. Whether it’s GBP1m or GBP6.1 million – winning the lottery means receiving a life changing sum of money in your bank account which people choose to spend in different ways.

To find out what those things were, we spoke to a number of lottery winners from Merseyside and Cheshire who gathered together at Tatton Park this week to celebrate 25 years of the National Lottery.

Many treated themselves to a holiday

These four winners – who have won a staggering sum of GBP10.6m between them, told the ECHO about their win and what life has been like since then. Here are the things they splashed their cash on.

GBP6.1 million

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesEverton fans Kevin and Michelle Jones from Crewe, won a staggering GBP6.1 million on the lottery after their numbers came up on a lucky dip back in May 2016.

Everton fans Kevin and Michelle Jones from Crewe, won a whopping GBP6.1 million on the lottery, after their numbers came up on a lucky dip back in May 2016. The couple, both aged 60, said the best thing about winning the lottery has been that it’s given them “the gift of time”, with Kevin quitting his job as a bus driver and Michelle leaving her job as a teaching assistant soon afterwards.

When Kevin first discovered he had won the lottery, he said he went into the living room “jumping and screaming ‘I’ve won the lottery, I’ve won the lottery.’ Meanwhile Michelle, couldn’t comprehend what was going on.

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesKevin and Michelle have been on a number of holidays

Michelle said: “He came running up and down on the spot into the living room but he never seemed to get any further . His arms were going and there was a lot of screaming so I said how much have you won?

Have you won GBP25? “Because when he got three numbers he got quite excited but I couldn’t make sense of what he was trying to say to me. “I was just a bit shocked, so I wanted to check the ticket.

The first thing I said was what date is on that ticket.” Once the couple had confirmed with Camelot that they had won the jackpot, Kevin and Michelle said they “sat up all night wondering what life would be like now.”

‘The first thing I bought was two season tickets to Everton Football Club for me and my son’

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesKevin and Michelle Jones won GBP6.1m on the National Lottery

Kevin said: “When I’d won it, we just sat up all night wondering how it would affect our lives and how our lives would change, we didn’t sleep a wink.” Michelle added: “We talked about when our children were younger and all the things that we had done because we knew it was going to be different, but we still wanted to stay the same people that we were.”

Kevin who has been an Everton fan since 1968, said the first thing he bought with the win was two season tickets to Everton Football Club. He told the ECHO: “I’ve supported Everton since 1968 but I had to work most weekends so I couldn’t get to see them.

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesView of Everton’s stadium at Goodison Park

“It gave me the opportunity to see Everton whenever I wanted, so I bought two season tickets for me and my son.” Kevin and Michelle also used the money to move house, just six miles away from where they lived before and they have taken their family on a number of different holidays.

But the best thing about winning the lottery, Kevin said, is that is has enabled him to be able to retired 10 years early. Michelle added: “The best gift it has given us is the gift of time. “I loved our life before but after the win I was able to spend two years with my mum before she died and we’ve been able to spend quality time with our family and friends.”

GBP1 million

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesRuth Breen from Wigan won GBP1m on theEuroMillions lottery in July 2014

Ruth Breen, 39, a midwife from Wigan, discovered she’d won GBP1m on the Euromillions during her lunch break at work.

The single mum-of-one to 16-year-old Lucy – who was just 11 years old at the time, told the ECHO how before her win she couldn’t afford broadband and regularly ate beans on toast for tea. But after logging onto her lottery account in July 2014, Ruth “couldn’t believe her eyes” as a message popped up on her computer screen to say “congratulations you have won one million pound.” Ruth checked the numbers several times with her boss and confirmed the win over the phone, before she headed home to tell her daughter the incredible news.

The 39-year-old said: “I was speechless. It was really difficult to comprehend what was going on and it took quite a while for it to sink in. “When I told my daughter who had just turned 11 at the time, that I’d won a lot of money on the lottery because she wouldn’t have understood what a million actually means, and that things were going to be a bit different, she said ‘does that mean we can get broadband now?'”

“We’d just moved into a new house which I’d bought to try and get my daughter into her first preference school and we couldn’t afford Sky TV or anything like that.”

“Times were tough before the win but that day a massive weight was lifted”

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesRuth Breen used to eat beans on toast and dip into her overdraft

Before the win, Ruth said “times were tough” which meant she would regularly eat beans on toast for tea, “to make sure we could survive and live.” When she first purchased the house in July 2014, Ruth said she remembers thinking “I’m going to be paying this mortgage off forever” but by September, she had paid off the mortgage all thanks to the life changing sum of money. She said: “Before the win I was always in my overdraft.

I’d regularly have beans on toast for tea, at least once a week, just to make sure that we could survive and live. “Times were tough. They weren’t desperate, we still had a reasonable standard of living but times were hard so I’d have to be very careful in the olden days.

“A massive weight was lifted on that day and I realised I didn’t have to worry about my council tax going up a band when I moved house and we could now afford to get broadband.”

‘The first thing I bought was a Michael Kors dress, a pair of Jimmy Choos and a matching bag’

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesMillionaire midwife Ruth Breen with her BMW

The first thing Ruth bought with her lottery win was a Michael Kors dress, a pair of Jimmy Choos and a matching bag, for a press event. She said:”I had a press release a few days after I’d won so I thought this is a once in a life time opportunity, you’ve got to do it properly. “So I went and bought a nice Michael Kors dress, a pair of Jimmy Choos and a matching bag.

I went and had my hair done and treated myself.” Since then, Ruth has used the money to send her daughter to an independent school in the area and to give her great opporunities. And unlike others who decided to quit their job on winning the lottery, Ruth has stayed in her role as a midwife but has reduced her hours down so she can spend more time with her family.

She said: “I love my job so why give it up because I can afford not to do it anymore and what would I do if I did give up being a midwife, probably shopping and then the money would be gone really quickly.

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesRuth has stayed working in the North West

“I’m not the sort of person who could just go for lunch with the girls everyday. It’s a vocation and it’s something that I could never imagine giving up. “But I’ve reduced my hours which means I’m able to spend more time being a mum and doing all the great things like taxiing a 16-year-old girl around the North West.”

And although it has been life changing for her and her daughter, she said it is important to stay “grounded” because you “could quite easily blow it all.” She added: “There are still days when I have to pinch myself because I can’t actually believe that I am living this life and that money is mine and it’s giving me a wonderful lifestyle and my daughter great opporunities.”

GBP 2.5 million

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesRailway worker Ben Woods, 23, from New Ferry who won 2.5M Pounds back in Feb 2004.

Merseyrail worker, Ben Woods, from Wirral, found out he’d hit the jackpot four days before his 24th birthday. Ben, who is now 38, said he was unaware that he’d won the lottery back in 2004, until he went for a pint at the pub with his dad after work.

It was in the pub that Ben’s dad told him he had won a staggering GBP2,485,736 with a lucky dip ticket his mum had bought him. The dad-of-three, who used to work at Port Sunlight train station, said he was in “disbelief” when he won and “couldn’t really take it in”. He told the ECHO: “I finished work at about 8pm and went to the pub with my dad and it was while we were there that he told me I had won.

“I had asked him for a fiver for a pint and he took me to the toilets, so we weren’t around people and told me there that I had actually won the lottery. “Then my mum came to the pub and we just all sat there in disbelief staring at each other.” He added: “We went and knocked on my sisters house to tell her too.

“I went through a range of emotions.” “I was living at my mum and dads at the time so I would leave the money on the mantelpiece and my mum would buy the tickets, so it was her that went and bought my ticket on the Saturday night.”

‘The best thing I’ve bought is security for me and my family’

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesNational Lottery millionaire and former train guard Been Woods, who scooped GBP2.5m in 2004, returned to his old workplace, Port Sunlight Station, to give commuters free rail and lottery tickets. Ben, left, is pictured with passenger Keith Mattison.

A few days after the win, when everything had calmed down, Ben went out and bought himself a watch and car, along with a car for his dad.

He said: “I went out on the Tuesday or Wednesday that week and I bought myself a watch for myself. Then I went and bought myself a car and my dad a car. “I bought a Range Rover and my dad picked a Honda.”

Ben who quit his job after finding out he had one GBP2.5m, said life became “a bit of a haze of holidays and cars” until he met his girlfriend and got married. Ben and his wife Leanne, now live in Bromborough on the Wirral, with their three children. The best thing the lottery win has bought him, Ben said is “security” for his family.

He said: “I’ve bought my sister a house and I sent my mum and dad on holidays because they never wanted to move. “It’s a nice thing to be able to say lets do this and do that and to be able to offer security for me and my family and for my wife and kids.”

GBP1 million

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesJohn and Patricia Gill from Warrington bought their GBP1m winning lottery ticket on Christmas Day in 2015, just an hour before the draw.

 

John and Patricia Gill, from Warrington, bought their winning lottery ticket on Christmas Day in 2015, just an hour before the draw. But it wasn’t until Boxing Day, that the couple discovered they had won a life changing sum of GBP1m and a luxury holiday to see the Northern Lights in Sweden.

John, 60, who ran his own truck company in his home town at the time, said he was sat playing Candy Crush, when he decided to check his lottery numbers. And after finding out he had hit the GBP1m jackpot John, went into the living room where Patricia, 56, was watching EastEnders to tell her. John said: “She was watching EastEnders at the time so I went in and said ‘are you watching this’ and she said ‘you know I’m watching it’ and I said ‘well I might have something more interesting to watch – I’ve just won a million pound on the lottery.'”

Patricia said: “I just thought he was winding me up and he was playing a joke on me. “I said ‘let me read it’ because at first you think it’s a scam or you’ve not read it right. So you check it all and then you are like ‘oh my god we have won.’

“I don’t think you believe it at first, it doesn’t sink in. You think we’ll wake up in the morning and it’ll be like oh we had a dream that we won the lottery. “It’s surreal for the first few weeks until you see the money in your bank account and then it becomes more real.”

‘I bought a Jaguar and we went to Miami, New York and around the Caribbean’

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesJohn and Patricia Gill from Warrington scooped 1 million pounds and a holiday to the Northern Lights after winning on Mega Friday Euro Millions draw on Christmas Day.

The couple were unable to confirm their win with Camelot until the following day but that didn’t stop them from throwing a party with their friends and “drinking everything in house.”

And once the money entered their bank accounts, the first thing John and Patricia bought was two iPhones – one for their son and one for their daughter – from the Trafford Centre. John also used the winnings to treat himself to a white Jaguar which he’d “always wanted” and the couple went on to build their own dream home.

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesJohn always wanted a white Jaguar

Patricia took early retirement from her job as an accountant and John retired from his company a few years down the line. The couple told the ECHO how they also splashed out on a number of luxury holidays to exotic destinations including trips to Miami, New York and around the Carribean.

John said: “We’ve been on about eight holidays this year.”

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesLottery winners Patricia and John Gill give up their time to help decorate Birkenhead Venture Boxing Club.

While Patricia added: “It does give you options like that, you don’t have to plan things or think do we have enough money for that and can I get time off work. “The house is definitely the best thing we’ve spent the money on. “We wanted certain things which we couldn’t find in our houses so by building it ourselves, we were able to do exactly what we wanted.”

Merseyside Lottery winners worth £11m splash cash on Caribbean holidays and dream designer homesTrips have included Miami and New York

John and Patricia, along with a lot of the other lottery winners, have also given up their time to support a number of different Camelot charities and causes.

This included painting and cleaning a run down gym in Birkenhead, together with other lottery winners, to give something back to the community there.

The National Lottery

Over the last 25 years, The National Lottery has made 5,500 millionaires across the UK and has awarded GBP71 billion in prize money. Of these winners, 659 lottery millionaires have been from an area within the North West. In total 5,099 top tier prizes of over GBP50,000 have been banked by players in the region.

The event at Tatton Park this week to mark the National Lottery’s 25th Birthday saw some of the region’s winners come together to celebrate together.

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Andy Cater, Senior Winners’ Advisor for The National Lottery, the man who pays out the big winners, said, “For 25 years National Lottery players have been winning big, from the largest ever jackpot of GBP170M won in October 2019 to the 7 millionaires made every week in the UK. 

“And it’s thanks to our National Lottery players, 565,000 Good Cause grants have been given out to projects big and small, that’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district making a huge impact on communities all over the country.”

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