A retired couple from Billingham in North East England scooped the £4.5 million UK Lotto jackpot on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, but after 20 years of dedicated playing, Denis and Mary Graham admit they had almost given up any hopes of a big prize.
"We've enjoyed playing since The National Lottery began but never thought we'd win a big, life-changing amount such as this," Denis said. "It still doesn’t feel quite real and I keep having to convince myself we’ve actually won!"
The lucky winners have stuck with the same numbers for the past couple of decades, so it was an amazing experience for Denis when he checked the winning numbers and they all looked so familiar.
"I went online on my computer and thought I’d won £25 for three numbers, which I was happy enough with, then I realized I had more numbers," Denis said. "I couldn’t quite believe it when I matched all six—I felt numb and thought it was some kind of joke."
Denis is a former Welder and Mary used to be a health care assistant, so they both know what it's like to work hard for a living and hope news of their win will help provide hope to other working-class players.
"We decided to share the news of our win as we didn’t want to keep it a secret and we want people to know that it’s possible for normal hard-working people like us to win," Mary explained.
As for their plans for the future, the couple are adamant the money will not change them and say they will share the prize with their nearest and dearest.