Can you believe it? It’s been twenty years that the National Lottery has been making millionaires and to celebrate this amazing achievement – they celebrated in pure lotto style, by raising a glass of bubbly.
The National Lottery invited lottery winners from the past two decades to come together for a glamorous photo shoot to celebrate the twenty year anniversary and look back at how their lotto win changed their lives for the better.
Jane Cunningham, from North Yorkshire, who won £7,544,200 in December 2008 told lottery officials that when she realised that she had won the jackpot, her first thought was “Oh God I feel sick.” Jane elaborated and said, "You would think I would be doing cartwheels and screaming from the rooftops. But I had this realisation that oh my God, my life as I know it is over and it is going to start again tomorrow - a totally different life. It is a rollercoaster of emotions."
We all dream of winning the jackpot but hearing what Jane had to say makes us realise that at that very moment the reality of your life changing so completely, can be traumatic.
We all go through our lives with little struggles creeping in year by year and knowing that we cannot buy anything our heart desires becomes the norm. When all this changes in a blink of an eye, we do need time to adjust to our new found wealth.
For Jane, this is exactly what she went through and she knew from the very first moment that things would be completely different. With seven children, life was an everyday struggle for her and Jane and her husband Mark but thanks to her lottery win her financial problems became a thing of the past.
Immediately after Jane banked the supersized winning cheque she splashed out on treats for herself and her family, including breast implants for her 24-year-old daughter. "My most unusual purchase was probably buying my daughter a boob job. She would have been 24 at the time. "I just thought, 'Wow, now she can have one'. She likes them, so that's a good thing.
Speaking to lottery officials Jane also said, "I also popped out for coffee once and came back having bought a £1 million farm. I had this mad feeling and I impulse bought it. I don't know how I did it - that was my biggest impulse buy."
Jane moved her family from their small home in Whitby to the farm and married her long-term finance not long after her lotto win. Jane also donated funds to charity and assisted a few of her friends financially.
Unlike a few lottery jackpot winners, we’ve seen in the past who’s relationships suffered due to the lottery win, Jane and Mark’s relationship did not buckle under the pressure of becoming instant millionaires. Instead, Jane says the win bought them “freedom” and security for her children.
Another jackpot winner at the 20th anniversary of the National Lottery, is Jackie King, who won £14,003,369 in November 1998.
Jackie said, "My win has given me such security it has meant I can take care of my family and really enjoy life. I've been lucky enough to travel all over the world and have had some fantastic experiences - like going on safari in Zambia."
Since the launch of the National Lottery, not only have millionaires been created but more importantly £32 billion for good causes has been raised.
What started off with a few concerns that the National Lottery would create a nation of gamblers, soon proved otherwise. With so many people becoming instant millionaires and in turn contributing to worthy causes like the Weirs, the lottery has proved that it has and will always be a positive contribution to society.
Nikki Otterburn won £2,216,029 in 2001
National Lottery facts and figures over the past 20 years
- The first winning numbers to ever be drawn in November 1994 were: 30 – 03 – 05 – 44 - 14 - 22 plus the bonus ball 10.
- Noel Edmonds presented the televised programme which created more than 3,600 millionaires. Six new millionaires are created on average a week.
- £53 billion has been paid out to winners by the National Lottery over the 20 year period.
- The National lottery has raised more than £32billion for good causes.
- Approximately 85% of National Lottery winners prefer to remain anonymous.
- The majority of lottery winners buy new cars for themselves or for family members but the most popular way to spend their millions is to purchase property.
- The biggest unclaimed prize was from the EuroMillions draw on June 8 2012. A ticket worth £63,837,543.60 had been bought by a player in the Stevenage and Hitchin area. It is a world-record unclaimed prize.
- Approximately 70% of adults regularly play the National Lottery.
- As predicted more winners quit their jobs. Only 5 percent carry on working after a lottery jackpot win. A staggering 31% volunteer their time to charities.
If you too would like to add your name to the National Lottery’s rich list then register today on PlayHugeLottos.com from anywhere in the world and try your luck with your lucky lotto numbers.
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