Weve all daydreamed about an unexpected windfall that would change our luck. But whats it really like to come into money? Michael Segalov meets five people who did
Desiree Home: lottery winner, 1,000,000
Our routine was always the same. Wayne, my husband, would pop into the post office on his way to work to get our lottery tickets, and hed get up early the morning after the draw and check the numbers. Hed forgotten to check the Tuesday night Euromillions till the Thursday.
Anyway, he checked the main draw, no match. Then he checked the lucky dip millionaire raffle. The letters matched. The numbers matched. He didnt believe it. He knew Id bite his head off if he woke me up that early only to find hed got it wrong. So he went to work with the ticket in his pocket. A few hours later he called me.
He said: Des, are you sitting down? Ive got something to tell you. Oh my God, I thought, what has happened? Wed been through a lot in the few years before then. Wed worked hard to build a life together: the house, three kids and now seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Then everything started to crumble. I was diagnosed with cancer and got dropped by the company I worked for. Waynes contracts dried up and suddenly neither of us was earning and I was starting treatment. A complication left me in intensive care, bailiffs were at the door and my health had deteriorated.
We had to sell the house quickly. Some friends rescued us by lending us enough money to stay for a few months so we could sell our house ourselves. Once that was done, our debts repaid, we could just about afford to buy a mobile home. Slowly I got used to it, the park was quiet and at least we had a roof over our heads. Wayne found some work, I child-minded while starting to recover. Thats why I panicked when he called me.
And then he told me wed won 500,000. I told him to stop being an idiot, that it really wasnt funny. At 9am he called Camelot, and a couple of hours later they confirmed it. Then Wayne called me again. Right, he said, Weve definitely won. And its actually 1m.
After that, the first thing I bought was a soft-close toilet seat. The one in the mobile home made a loud bang when it shut. 20? I thought. Yes, well have that. Since then weve given some money to the kids. Id always dreamed of going to the Maldives and weve been every February since the win, to snorkel with the turtles.
When I first moved to the park I was miserable, but Id grown to love it. Whenever I walked past this beautiful riverside pump house on the edge of the grounds I thought how much Id love to live there. Its home now, and Mum lives opposite us. We still do the lottery. Because, our win was on the lucky dip, remember. Our numbers still havent come up.
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