Life changing

Call it fate: eight extraordinary stories behind winning the lottery

No National Lottery win is ever ordinary – but some seem to be even more extraordinary than others. Meet the winners whose luck seems to have been written in the stars (among other things)

1. The power of positive thinking

EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle (now Millionaire Maker) winner Aaron Smith and his family invented an unusual game over Christmas: pretending that they’d won the lottery. Little did Aaron realise that, as his family toasted each other with Champagne and posted mock-winner photos on Facebook, he had actually won – and had a million-pound ticket in his pocket.

2. Twice as nice

Derek Ladner, a Lotto jackpot winner from Cornwall, always played the same numbers. One day he couldn't quite remember if he’d bought a ticket or not, so he popped out to play – just in case. It turned out he had played twice and won not one but two shares of the jackpot, banking £958,284.

3. Feather the nest

Shortly after Susan Crossland’s father died she found a white feather, which she took as a sign that he was watching over her from above. Two years later she found another one, and this time she thought it was a signal that she should player her dad’s lucky lottery numbers. She did – and within a week she’d won a Lotto jackpot of £1,218,618.

4. A happy homecoming

We all have a to-do list to get through before we go on holiday, and Martyn White’s included checking his emails. When he saw an email telling him that he had won £10 million, he assumed it was a hoax and ignored it. It wasn’t until Martyn and his wife Sandra came back from their trip that they discovered it was actually real – and they had won a Lotto jackpot £10,784,075.

5. What’s the name of the game?

How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Mark Myatt and his wife Trina spent theirs playing the ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ board game. It wasn’t until the next day they discovered that they had actually been winning while they were playing, and were now £1,014,308 richer than the year before.

6. Double blessings

Rachel Bryan’s horoscope for the day predicted a big win. She didn’t think much of it, until a second horoscope predicted the same thing. That was all the encouragement the trainee solicitor needed – and she certainly thanked her lucky stars when she won a life-changing £2,593,004 Lotto jackpot.

7. In the nick of time

Next time you’re having a clear out be careful about what you’re throwing away. EuroMillions winner James Wilson thought he had found some old tickets in his wallet, but it turned out that one of them was a EuroMillions ticket worth £51,232.90. Not only that, but it was six months old and there was only one day left for him to claim his winnings – 24 hours later and the prize would have gone towards supporting National Lottery projects.

8. Written in the stars

Carly Wiggett and Becky Witt owe a lot to Carly’s mum who took the trouble of reading the best friends’ horoscopes in a national newspaper one day. Their horoscopes predicted a Pisces and a Taurus would win the lottery if they teamed up together, so the pair bought a EuroMillions ticket – and bagged themselves £168,813.80 each.

Over the last 23 years we’ve created over 5,000 millionaires and funded more than 535,000 National Lottery projects - discover more life-changing stories.

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