Lotto winners Caroline and Graham Parris

Caroline and Graham celebrate £1.2Million Lotto win with trip to ‘Wahey-mouth’

A couple from Reading have celebrated becoming National Lottery millionaires by revisiting the seaside town where they had their very first romantic getaway 44 years earlier.

Graham and Caroline Parris took a trip to Weymouth – this time with their children and grandchild – after learning they’d won an incredible £1.2Million Lotto prize.

Graham, 65, said, “I couldn’t have dreamt when we checked in for our romantic weekend in 1979 that, 44 years later, we would be back as Lotto millionaires.”

The couple’s millionaire adventure started when Graham, a National Account Manager, popped to the supermarket to do some shopping for his 95-year-old mother. He said, “As I was leaving the shop, and very much on a whim and because there was no queue at the kiosk, I decided to buy 4 Lucky Dip tickets for the Lotto ‘Must Be Won’ draw that evening. I never do that, I always play online and had already bought tickets the day before on the National Lottery app, so I really can only put it down to Lady Luck stepping in.”

The following day Graham checked his online account and was delighted to see that he’d got 3 numbers and, rather than the usual £30 for matching three numbers he’d actually scooped £95. Remembering the tickets he’d bought in the supermarket, Graham took them from the drawer and glanced at the numbers.

He said, “I’ve always been pretty good with numbers so I quickly recognised that I had quite a few of the winning numbers. By my reckoning I’d matched 5 and won £8,788 – I was over the moon. Before telling Caroline the good news, I quickly scanned the ticket with the National Lottery app, and was a bit disappointed when it pinged and I read £1,236. My disappointment was brief; I took a closer look and realised the 3 numbers after were also part of the win, £1,236,481!”

Caroline, 65, who had the flu and was lying on a sofa, was horrified when Graham walked into the room and fell to the floor with tears in his eyes. She explained, “He was emotional and I was terrified it was bad news. So, when he said ‘we’re millionaires’ it took quite a while to sink in. To be honest it still hasn’t!

“Having said that, the day after we discovered the win I called the airline to upgrade our already booked flights to Mexico to Business Class. That helped it sink in a little bit more!”

Graham has adjusted to life as a millionaire by breaking some old habits. Caroline said, “In all our years together he has never gone furniture shopping with me but, the day after we discovered our win, he willingly joined me to find a new sofa joking that now he’s a millionaire, he’s a changed man!”

The couple have no plans to leave their much-loved home although they will be doing some renovations. And they’re both looking forward to retirement as the future looks significantly more exciting thanks to their win.

Aside from helping their family, which is their first priority, their exciting plans include plenty of sporting travel. They intend to support England’s cricketers the next time the team is touring the West Indies and there’s talk of a long-dreamed of trip to the MCG in Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test. Graham, an avid golfer, has plans to visit some of the world’s more prestigious golf courses while Caroline enjoys the local spas.

Graham also has plans to help his local community. He said, “I always said that if I won The National Lottery I would give back to my community, perhaps as a volunteer driver or doing some work with a local charity. There are 1,189 Good Causes in Reading that have received National Lottery funding so it seems right to approach one of those first!”

30th November 2023

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,000 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £30 million for good causes every week.

Discover more
Please wait