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For richer, for much richer...

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

Lottery winner Sarah Cockings, who scooped more than pounds 3m, yesterday told of her plans to marry her high-school boyfriend ( but expects him to buy the ring.

The 21-year-old, who lives with her parents in West Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, was one of three winners to share Saturday's rollover jackpot ( each receiving pounds 3,045,705.

The former Whitley Bay High School and Tynemouth College pupil already has her sights set on a glamorous wedding to long-term boyfriend 21-year-old Roy Kelley.

But despite her millions, Sarah says she is determined to complete her degree in social work at Northumbria University.

She said: "Winning the lottery gives me the opportunity to do all the things I would never have been able to do otherwise, but it is really important to me to achieve the things that money cannot buy. And becoming a social worker has always been very close to my heart."

Sarah plans to buy a Mini Cooper convertible and treat her family to a holiday abroad but will not be buying the thing she wants the most.

She said: "I have seen the wedding ring I want, but Roy is determined to buy it for me himself and I think it will be more romantic that way anyway."

Sarah bought her winning ticket with Roy in her local post office, where both her mum Maria and 18-year-old sister Alex work.

She said: "I always buy my lottery tickets from the Post Office and usually ask for three lucky dips. But for some strange reason I had a funny feeling that I should choose my numbers instead, so that's what I did. I wasn't even going to check my numbers until I got a text from Roy reminding me.

"When I realised I had all six I ran downstairs to my dad and made him check the numbers again. We could not believe it."

Older sister Emma, 23, has a four-month-old son named Thomas, and Sarah says she plans to put some of the money aside for her nephew's future.

She said: "He's going to get spoiled rotten ( even more than he already is. I must be one of the richest aunties in the North-East now."

Sarah's father Ian, who works as a mentor for a North-East charity, last night knew his daughter would not let becoming a millionaire go to her head.

He said: "It has been a rollercoaster week, but Sarah has always been really down to earth and I don't think it will change her day-to-day life."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 7, 2005
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