Derek Daniels and his daughter, Lorraine, are celebrating after the numbers they have played since Lorraine’s daughter, Lotus, was born delivered a Lotto jackpot. The win will be life changing for the whole family, but especially Lotus, who suffered with epileptic fits before having a nine-and-half hour operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The winning numbers the pair have played since Lotus’ birth almost seven years earlier are a combination of her birth date, baby weight, the number of the room she was born in and the day she was christened. Lotus was only a couple of weeks old when she started to suffer with epileptic fits which worsened over time until, aged 3, she was having 300 a day and doctor’s recommended putting her into an induced coma. Then in April 2014 Lotus underwent a nine-and-half hour operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital to have the right side of her brain removed.
Lorraine said, "Since her operation Lotus has baffled all the doctors and specialists who predicted a very limited quality of life. She is learning to walk again and communicate through sign language, and she’s doing really well at her school. The Lotto win is amazing, Lotus is our miracle."
The first thought of the father and daughter syndicate, from Whittlesey near Peterborough, was to give back to the community that has helped the family so much in recent times. Recently the local public have come together to raise funds for Lotus to have a specialist bed all of her own.
Lorraine explains, "Lotus has always slept with me, originally so that I was there to manage the seizures and since her miracle recovery, in case she falls out of bed and can’t call for me. I couldn’t afford the specialist bed so the community was amazing and recently raised enough money for us to order it. Who would have thought that when we placed that order, before the bed had even arrived, I would have won the Lottery and can now pay back the community so the money can go to another worthy cause."
Lorraine discovered their amazing change in circumstances after she had waved her daughter off on the school bus. Receiving a call from her dad, who only lives two minutes around the corner, Lorraine was convinced something awful had happened.
"It was just before eight when dad called and my immediate thought was something had happened to mum but all he said was ‘what are your lottery numbers?’ To be honest I thought he was going potty but he told me to sit down and then said, ‘you’ve won the lottery’ – then it was me who went slightly potty!"
Turning on the TV to double-check, Lorraine saw the magic six numbers the little family syndicate had been playing since Lotus’ birth. Within minutes Lorraine’s dad appeared at the house and the pair tried to take in the situation between them.
Derek said, "We were sitting there somewhere between stunned and crazy! We kept thinking about all the things that were now possible and how all our heartache and worry for Lotus’ future was over. Making the call to Camelot was wonderful but even after it had been confirmed we were still in absolute shock, going through every magical how, what, why and when to spend.
"I don’t know how many cups of tea and coffee we went through but it was a very memorable moment for a dad to share with his daughter and believe me, we’ve shared many memorable moments!"
A good night’s sleep
With the win confirmed the pair carried on with their day but all the time grinning from ear to ear. Lorraine, who cares for Lotus full-time, hasn’t had a proper night’s sleep in years but both her and Lotus slept like babies that night, safe in the knowledge that things were going to get a lot easier for them.
Beyond helping the community Lorraine plans to use her share to take Lotus on holiday, short trips to begin with eventually a holiday in Spain for the pair who have been through so much. A new home is also on the cards but only if they can stay within the community that has been such a support. Derek is still making his plans but thinks include a cruise and a new car will see him right in the short-term.
The Daniel’s syndicate were one of three lucky ticket-holders to share the £2,187,078 jackpot from the Lotto draw on 20th April, 2016.