A hard–working couple from Hawick in the Scottish Borders have become Lotto's biggest ever winners, banking an incredible £33,035,323. They are the biggest winners the game has ever made after winning half of the record £66,070,646 Lotto jackpot on Saturday 9th January.
David and Carol Martin were relaxing at home, completely unaware the Lotto ticket on their mantelpiece held the key to the incredible fortune. After breakfast the couple checked the ticket.
David said, “I had three lines, all Lucky Dip tickets, and as Carol called out the numbers, I realised the first line matched up one by one. We must have checked it another 10 times or more!
"I've dreamt of this moment many times but when it actually came, it was a just total shock. We were both stunned into silence. We kept re–checking the numbers as we thought there must be a mistake," continued David. "Then we called The National Lottery to see if it could possibly be true. The lady at the end of the phone was really nice and told us we were right – we were winners! All we could do was drink lots of hot tea and try and make sense of it all. The information just wasn’t going in!"
The couple went to visit Carol's mother in the afternoon but couldn't bring themselves to say anything to anyone until the evening. The first person to be told the amazing news was their daughter, Lisa, who lives in Australia.
David said, "We caught Lisa on the telephone as she was driving to work and told her to pull over. She thought something bad had happened as we normally only Skype or WhatsApp her to keep the costs down. So when we telephoned, she was really worried. Then we told her we've just won about 68 million Australian dollars. She couldn’t believe it and thought we were pulling her leg!"
The family haven't been together for over a year but Carol and David have urged Lisa to jump on the first plane home as soon as she can arrange it. Carol said, "Lisa loves it out in Australia and has been trying to gain residency over there. She's been there for more than five years and we last saw her at Christmas 2014. We can't wait to see her again. With all this going on, it doesn't seem right not to be together."
The couple have started making plans for their future and top of the list is an early retirement. David has been working for the past eight years for Borders Care and Repair, part of Eildon Housing Association, which helps elderly and disabled people fit specialist equipment in their home. Carol has worked in the local chemist for most of her working life.
A move is also imminent for the couple, who have been married for 28 years, to a new home in the country, local to where they live now, and perhaps a holiday home in the sun. David is eyeing a Range Rover whilst Carol is simply after an automatic that can get her up the big hills in Hawick. The generous couple also want to help their family and closest friends.
David said, "It's everyone's dream to win the lottery. I've talked about winning and what I would do so many times. But now it's actually here my mind's gone blank. We don't have all the answers yet but we'd like to help our closest friends and family and there are charities which are important to us too. Parts of our community have also been hit by flooding and we know lots of people who have struggled in recent times so there's a lot for us to work out but it's a nice problem to have."
David follows many sports and is a keen golfer so doesn't think he'll get bored with his new found freedom. He now hopes to spend his 'golden' years watching some of the greatest sporting events live in person including the FA Cup final, the Masters in Augusta, the next Rugby World Cup and maybe even the Olympic Games in Rio later this year. Meanwhile Carol fancies a trip to Wimbledon to watch the tennis.
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David and Carol are one of the 70 Lotto millionaires who have been made in the past three months, more than double the number created in the three months before. This includes jackpot winners and the guaranteed millionaires made by Lotto Millionaire Raffle in each and every draw. The second £33M winner from the Lotto draw on Saturday 9th January is still to come forward and claim their prize.
Lotto's extraordinary millionaire making since October helped to make 2015 a record breaker, with more National Lottery millionaires made than ever before. A stunning 341 players walked away with a life changing £1M plus cheque. Check out the other records set in 2015 with the Review of the National Lottery Year. Overall more than 4,000 millionaires have been made in the last 21 years, see how many live near you with the handy Millionaire Map.
Each Lotto ticket sold helps raise money for Good Cause projects, helping The National Lottery raise more than £34M every single week. Players can be assured that by buying a ticket they will be helping everything from our elite athletes to the nation's arts and heritage, but mainly the many thousands of projects in local communities across the country. In all, 29,000 big and small projects across the UK were funded in 2015. Find out where the money goes from The National Lottery by following our Journey of a Ticket.