Dinner lady has recipe for success after hitting £1.7m lottery jackpot

Lottery winner Trish Emson, pictured at the photocall at Kirkstall Abbey Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme
Lottery winner Trish Emson, pictured at the photocall at Kirkstall Abbey Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme
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A South Yorkshire canteen worker has found the recipe for success when it comes to enjoying her Lottery riches – keeping her feet on the ground.

Trish Emson scooped £1.7 million on the lottery in October 2003, but has stayed in her family home in Wath-upon-Dearne and continued working – and is now employed a dinner lady at her son’s school.

Lottery Winners David Long from Scunthorpe and Trish Emson from Rotherham, pictured at the photocall at Kirkstall Abbey Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Lottery Winners David Long from Scunthorpe and Trish Emson from Rotherham, pictured at the photocall at Kirkstall Abbey Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Now new research from the National Lottery has found Trish may have had an advantage when buying her winning ticket, as cooks are among the luckiest professions when it comes to hitting the jackpot.

Chefs and cooks account for 667 major prize winners and 84 millionaires since the Lottery began in November 1994.

But they are not as lucky as builders, who count 331 lottery millionaires among their number.

Other top prize-winning professions include drivers and publicans.

Trish met other winners from Yorkshire for a special photoshoot at Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds yesterday, where the winners stepped back into their former uniforms.

She said she was surprised to find her job counted among the luckiest professions when it comes to winning the lottery.

The 45-year-old said: “I was quite shocked. You don’t realise because you don’t really find out what other winners are doing.”

Trish said her life with partner Graham Norton and 11-year-old son Benjamin has not dramatically altered as a result of the big win.

Among their main purchases have been a caravan in Cleethorpes, as well as dream holidays to Lapland in Finland and the USA.

She said: “I wouldn’t say it has changed my life, it just means you don’t have to worry about money.

“We have a few more holidays and have bought caravans and cars and bought things for friends and family.”

Trish, who worked in the canteen of a factory in Carlton when she hit the jackpot, won £1.7m after all six of her numbers came up after she bought a lucky dip ticket.

However, she did not find out she had won until the day after the draw when she finally got around to checking her numbers the next evening after a shift in a local pub.

She said: “I didn’t really believe it to be honest. I don’t think it hit me for quite a while and I don’t think anybody believed it at first.”

And her good fortune continued almost immediately after the big win when Trish found out she had fallen pregnant after five years of trying for a baby.

Trish said she hoped other people would get a chance to share some of her luck on the lottery.