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'We won PS1m on the lottery - the best Christmas present ever' Patricia and John Gill scooped PS1m on a Euromillions ticket four years ago. Here Patricia, 56, tells Cheryl Mullin her story ...

Byline: Cheryl Mullin

NEVER in our lives would we have believed we'd be lucky enough to win the Lottery - in fact, the win still doesn't feel real.

It was Christmas Day, 2015, and my husband, John, had managed to get our Euromillions numbers on just an hour before the draw was taking place.

We have a web account, and always put our numbers on online, rather than doing it in a shop It wasn't until Boxing Day evening, as we were relaxing watching the TV, that John noticed an email from Camelot telling us we'd won something.

We'd had winners' notifications before, and it can be anything like PS2.50 or PS10 - so John opened the email to have a look.

But this time the message was different, saying we had to log into our account.

John was very quiet for about half and hour. He said he must have checked it about ten times thinking, "that can't be right".

He told me turn the TV off, which annoyed me as I was watching something, but he insisted telling me: "I need you to look at this".

So, I took one look at the message and realised: "Oh, my God, we've won". The problem was it was about 7pm on Boxing Day, Camelot wasn't open, so we couldn't ring them.

We were so excited, but still at the back of your mind you can't help thinking "Have I got it wrong?" We'd checked it hundreds of times, we were sure we were right - so we rang a load of friends up and asked them to come round, we had bottles to open.

When they arrived we said: "You won't believe it, but we've won a million quid on the lottery!" The next morning, John was up at the crack of dawn, pacing up and down waiting to call Camelot at 9am.

We gave them our details, they verified the numbers and said - we're delighted to tell you you're now a millionaire.

It just didn't sink in, we'd had it confirmed and had made an appointment for the Lottery people to come out to see us, but it still felt like a dream.

They put the money into our account on New Year's Eve, 2015 - we could actually see the money in the account, and that made it a bit more real - we now have a bank account with a million pounds in it. It wasn't our numbers that scooped us the money, it was a bonus line on the ticket that won us the million pounds - and, as it was a Christmas draw, we'd also won a dream holiday to see the Northern Lights, in Sweden, which we took the following Christmas.

My Story One of the first things we did with the money was buy our kids new phones.

My son had had his iPhone stolen just the week before, and John had jokingly said to him "You'll have to have this old one for now, but you never know, if I win the lottery I'll buy you a new one." So, when we asked our son and daughter what they wanted us to buy them after the win, they both asked for new phones - that was all they asked for.

It's always tempting when you're presented with a huge sum of money to be a bit extravagant, but, at our time of life, we both thought, if we're careful with this money, we can live a really good lifestyle now - both retire and not have to work. And you also want to have some of it left to leave to your children - who are now both off at university.

I was working as an accountant, and I gave my three months' notice straight away, finishing up in the March.

It was a bit more difficult for John, who ran his truck repair company, fascinate Merseysiders? email the to cheryl.reachplc.

but we eventually sold the business in 2017. We'd always wanted to go on a cruise, so, in the summer of 2016, we flew to Miami and cruised to the Bahamas, and a few of the islands around there, and then had a week in New York.

My Story I was retired for 21/2 years, but have just recently gone back to work - albeit part-time.

It's difficult being at home when you're younger, when we won the lottery I was 52, so when you retire at that age a lot of your friends are still working.

We did a big project - we built a house in Lymm - so, for those two years, that absorbed all my time, helping to design it and oversee the construction.

But, after the house was all built, I wondered: What am I going to do with myself now? I do a bit of voluntary work, but it wasn't enough to fill my days. I've actually gone back to work for the company I "retired" from, replacing the lady who replaced me when I left.

John, who's just turned 60, is completely retired - although he's taken up golf again.

story you would We didn't really have any second thoughts about going public after the win, Camelot talked us through it, and we listened to them and took their experience, and we don't regret it at all.

your fellow Please basic details mullin@com, with in the Because we went public, we've been able to get involved in some of the things that Camelot do. We've helped paint a boxing gym, it's giving something back and showing people the Lottery is not just about winning money, it's also about how the Lottery helps the community by giving grants to places, and helping to fund things.

Despite the win, we still do the Lottery every week - you just never know.

of to to and a few retired taken up We have and it at all. Because Got a story you think would My Story in the subject fascinate your fellow Merseysiders? Please email the basic details to cheryl.mullin@reachplc.com, with

CAPTION(S):

Patricia and John helping out at a charity event - the Ballroom Dancing Dream Come True for Hospice, at the

Tower Ballroom, in Blackpool

Patricia and John helped decorate Birkenhead Venture Boxing Club Picture: GARETH JONES
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2019
Words:1044
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