A globe-trotting great grandmother has won £1Million and a holiday to Bali and Lombok on EuroMillions Mega Friday. She celebrated saying, “The world really is my oyster now, and a first class one at that.”
Seasoned traveller Diana De Gilio, a retired carer, is originally from New Zealand and was in the UK to celebrate her 70th birthday with friends and family when she discovered her life changing win.
The win made up for the fact she was denied the chance to wing walk for her birthday. Diana, who has lived and worked in the UK for many years, had to abandon this idea when she didn’t have the right medical certificate.
She said, “I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie – I base jumped 192 metres off Auckland’s Sky Tower for my 69th – and thought the wing walk was the perfect way to charge into my 70s, I didn’t think anything could beat it but let me tell you, winning a million pounds is certainly up there for getting the heart pumping.”
The lucky great grandmother of 7 was staying with her close friend Sandy Marsden, near Kings Lynn, when she bought her ticket and discovered her win. The two friends met on a tour of China and will now be heading off on the amazing Mega Friday holiday to celebrate in luxury.
Diana celebrated with Sandy and said, “My mother’s family is from the UK and I have plenty of family and friends here so I have a strong affection for the UK, I have to say, this win has made that affection even stronger! It’s been really great to celebrate this win with Sandy and the rest of my friends here in the UK, and to be able to take Sandy with me on this luxurious holiday to Bali is the icing on the cake.”
A born optimist
Diana and Sandy were visiting Great Massingham when she popped into the village shop to claim £10 winnings on a Scratchcard she had bought. Fate seemed to lead her to the £1Million winning ticket.
“While I was in the shop I saw a poster for EuroMillions Mega Friday and asked the lady what it was about. Once she’d explained, and being a born optimist keen to visit Bali again after backpacking there some years ago, I decided to try my luck by buying five Lucky Dips.”
It wasn’t until the Saturday when Sandy and Diana popped into the local supermarket that the life-changing win was discovered.
“It was the last one of my 5 tickets that made the machine produce 2 slips of paper. The lady on the counter turned to me and said it must be a big win and I’d need to call Camelot. She was really quiet about it, I can only guess she was in shock.”
Back in the car but with poor reception Sandy had to pull over so that Diana could properly hear the lady from Camelot verify that she had indeed won £1 million.
Sandy is delighted by her friends win and looking forward to joining her on the first class trip to Bali and Lombok, but pointed out that money hasn’t changed her dear friend.
Sandy said, “Life is one big adventure for Diana and I couldn’t think of a nicer, more genuine person to win this amazing prize. I’m very excited to be heading off on more travels with Diana, when we met in China we got on like a house on fire and it has been the same ever since.
“It’s been so nice having her to stay and my garden looks a million dollars thanks to her visit – anyone who says 'money changes you' has no idea, I’ve had our latest millionaire mowing the lawns and cutting hedges all week!”
More travelling plans
The great grandmother is now starting to make plans for the future, which of course include more travels.
“In 2001 I sold my house, my car – everything I owned – and bought a campervan so that I could hit the open road. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the freedom, travelling all over New Zealand as well as taking trips overseas when I’ve wanted but it’s not always easy. Now it’s all going to get a whole heap easier!
“I’m heading back to New Zealand at the end of the month when I will help the family out, buy a house, a car, new glasses and new teeth and then I’m back over to pick up Sandy so we can enjoy the trip to Bali and Lombok together.”
The luxurious trip won’t be the end of Diana’s travelling adventures, merely the start and after years of watching the pennies she’s going to do it in style, as you’d expect of this adrenalin junkie, globe-trotting great granny.
Diana said, “I’ve got friends in all corners of the globe and it will be wonderful to finally catch up with them. Top of my list will be Patagonia and Canada, after that, who knows. The world really is my oyster, and a first class one at that.”