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14 July 2011, 12:09
It's celebrations for a Tyne and Wear couple after they won £2, 405, 435 on the lottery.
Fred and Elizabeth Smith from Washington bagged a share of Saturday's Lotto Rollover jackpot.
They realised they'd won in the early hours of Sunday morning after returning from their grandson’s wedding. It was a double celebration for the couple as Elizabeth was also planning to celebrate her 71st birthday on Sunday.
'I usually check my tickets on Teletext after the draw – we got back from my grandson’s wedding around 12.30am so I turned on the TV to check our numbers before I went to bed. A few numbers caught my eye and I remember thinking we might have won a tenner. I’d had a few drinks so I had difficulty focusing on number 49 but I soon realised we had all six numbers!
'I shouted to my wife that we’d got six numbers but she thought I was winding her up so I shouted up to my son who was staying over who came and had a look – only then did Doreen take me seriously. She’s had two hip replacements but as soon as she saw I was telling the truth, she was dancing like Michael Flatley!'
The couple, who have been married for 51 years, then called their four children immediately who all came over. Fred said: 'I couldn’t sleep so we called the family – my daughter was round first in her pyjamas and we just sat up looking at our numbers on the screen in shock until we could call Camelot.'
The couple are now planning how to spend the win with looking after family as their top priority.
'This win means my family can be set up for life – we’ve always had to watch the pennies but now we know our children and grandchildren will are going to be fine. It also means we can enjoy our retirement without any worries – I’d like to get a bungalow so Doreen doesn’t need to bother with stairs with her hip problems and we like the idea of a holiday home in Spain.'
The couple have played the lottery since it launched in 1994, playing Lotto and occasionally EuroMillions. Fred usually plays a few lines with a mixture of birthdays and lucky numbers but decided to buy three Lucky Dips with prize money he won in Friday’s EuroMillions draw, one of which was the winning ticket.
The Lucky Dip ticket was bought from Martin’s Newsagent in Washington. The winning numbers from Saturday’s draw were 1, 2, 21, 24, 33, 49 and the bonus number was 39.