Who would be the first person you told if you won the lottery? For Mary Hamilton, who won the £12.9 million jackpot in the EuroMillions draw on Friday November 7th, it was the people next to her in the queue at her local petrol station.
“Every week I call in to buy a couple of tickets and get my previous week’s tickets checked, while I make myself a cup of tea in-store. When I went up to pay for everything, I was told that they couldn’t pay my money over the counter and I had to call the lottery number on the back of my ticket” the 65-year-old Belfast winner explained.
“The shop was quite busy and people quickly started to talk about me being a big winner. Someone even checked the numbers on his phone and within minutes, we knew that I had struck the jackpot. So I was taken into the store to sit down, call my husband and try to come to terms with what had just happened. My legs were so weak that I couldn’t walk.“
Mary’s win means she is the latest of over 3,700 millionaires created by the lottery since the first draw on Saturday November 19th, 1994.
Despite loving their jobs – Mary and her husband Alex have both worked at a local furniture store for the last eight years – the couple have handed their notice in with immediate effect. How else would they be free for a round-the-world trip?
“I want to make life as comfortable as I can for ourselves and our family and friends,” Mary says. “I’d like to help both sides of the community and also do my bit to help the local economy which has had it tough lately.”
Also on Mary’s list is a mobile phone, a holiday and a new home.
“I’ve always considered myself a lucky person to have my health and an amazing family,” says Mary. “I’ve been playing the lottery since it started 20 years ago and while I always thought there was a chance of winning a few thousand pounds one day, I never dreamed of winning anywhere near this amount.”
Could you be our next big winner? Play EuroMillions
For 25 years The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK. Since November 19th 1994 there have been more than 5,700 new millionaires created and over £41 billion has been given to good causes across the UK.Discover more