Winning the lottery is something most of us can only dream of, but for a select few, the fantasy becomes their reality. Although the majority of the population will never even come into contact with one of these winners, let alone be lucky enough to number among them, it’s always nice to hear about them, especially when they come from our own neck of the woods.
In fact, the North East can boast an astonishing 236 National Lottery millionaires, with a further 2,032 of us having won over £50,000 thanks to a lucky draw. Here are just a few of their stories.
Ian and Kim McCarthy
The number four ball is the most popular in Newcastle, and it proved especially lucky for Washington lottery winner Kim McCarthy, when it helped to make her and husband Ian millionaires on Christmas Day 2012. Although the two opted not to quit their jobs, they did splash out by taking their first holiday abroad, and treating their son to an epic 21st birthday.
Railston and Violet Watkins
Whitburn couple Railston and Violet Watkins also hit the big time in 2012, when they scooped up almost £1.2 million. They opted to purchase their semi-detached council house, which sat in their favourite spot overlooking the sea, and then split the remainder of the money between their four children and 10 grandchildren.
Doreen Smith was another Washington resident who got lucky thanks to the lotto. Despite her double hip replacement, she reported dancing “like Michael Flatley” when husband Fred first told her of her win in 2011. She later found out she’d scooped a whopping £2.4 million share of the jackpot.
Another North Eastern lady who got lucky was Jacqueline Redikin, who won an astonishing £11 million in 2010. Hailing from Stockport, the Newcastle United mega fan started her spending spree by splashing out on tickets to see the Magpies take on husband Peter’s favourites, Manchester United, at Old Trafford. Aside from being able to fund their football addiction, the couple said they would also spend some of the money on upgrading their Seat Toledo and taking a trip on the Orient Express.
Washington seems to be a good place for winners, and in December 2010 plumber Paul Goldie joined their number. Taking home £3.5 million from the Christmas Day draw, he reportedly spent five days walking around with the ticket in his trousers to make certain he didn’t lose it. We might well have done the same with that amount of cash at stake.
Anonymous from Cumbria
More recently, a Cumbrian resident, who wished to remain anonymous, won the Polish Mini Lotto in 2017, walking away with just under £11,000. It might be one of the less famous lotteries around, but the impressive part is that he staked just 25 pence on the possibility of winning. Not a bad return, by anyone’s standards.
Last but not least is winner Sarah Cockings. If her name sounds familiar, it’s because you probably remember her story from the newspaper. When the former Whitley Bay High School pupil cashed in her £3 million win in April 2005, she immediately spent some of it on buying boob jobs for sisters Emma and Alex, at a cost of £4,800 apiece.
Isn’t it time to try your own luck? After all, you never know when your numbers might come up.