This South Yorkshire mum won £1 million Lotto jackpot – and kept it secret from family for FIVE weeks

A dinner lady, mother and grandmother from South Yorkshire can finally celebrate winning a £1 million Lotto jackpot – after keeping it secret from her family for FIVE weeks. t

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 2:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 3:40 pm
Paula and Geoff kept the win secret from their sons.
Paula and Geoff kept the win secret from their sons.

Paula Williamson, 59, decided to keep her newfound fortune under wraps as one of her sons was on holiday in Australia.

Today, just 12 hours after her son Jack arrived back on UK soil, Paula revealed her life-changing news to both sons, Jack and Ian following her success in the special EuroMillions draw on 1 March, when 40 millionaires were created in one night.

Paula and husband, Geoff, 68, wanted to keep their news a secret so they could all be together as a family and share the celebratory moment.

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Despite one of their sons Ian living in the same house as them, they still managed to keep it from him!

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Paula said: “There is no way we could have celebrated without our two sons being with us.

“I did tell Geoff, because that would have been so hard to keep the winning news from him, but we both decided we wanted to tell Jack and Ian at the same time. It was tough being in the same house as Ian and keeping it from him but we did it.

“We just tried to keep ourselves as occupied as possible.

“Celebrating the winning moment is something we wanted to ensure we would remember for ever!”

On top of waiting five weeks to reveal the happy news, Paula had also been walking around for more than a week oblivious to the fact that she had a £1M winning ticket sitting in her purse.

She added: “I always buy a EuroMillions ticket when I do my weekly shopping and at the same time check my ticket from the previous week.

“When I got to the till to check my ticket the machine made a noise and the shop assistant said I had won more than £500 so she couldn’t pay out.

“I was really excited and thought I had probably won around £550. That would be a nice deposit for the new three piece suite I had been dreaming about buying.

“I immediately rushed home and called Camelot. The lady on the phone said to me … are you sitting down? … You have won £1M!

“I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I still can’t. The news really is still sinking in. I keep having to pinch myself and tell myself that I really am a millionaire.

“I cannot believe I was walking around for a whole week with £1M in my purse desperately saving for the new three piece.”

Paula, who has worked as a dinner lady at The Hill Private Academy in Thurnscoe, for 20 years, says she has no plans to retire now.

Top of her shopping list is to buy a house each for Jack, a bus driver and Ian, a ground worker, who both still live at home.

Second on the shopping list is that new three piece suite.

Geoff, meanwhile, a retired long distance lorry driver, who also has two daughters, Donna and Karen, says an updated Skoda is top of his list of priorities.

The couple, who have five grandchildren between the ages of two and 13, say treating their family is also very important to them.

Paula added: “We are not going to rush into anything. We are just going to take time to think.

“This win takes away any money worries and gives us so many options and opportunities.”

Paula bought her winning EuroMillions ticket from Morrisons in Dearne Valley Parkway, Cortonwood.

The National Lottery changes the lives of winners like Paula as well as communities across the UK – players raise, on average, over £30M for National Lottery-funded projects every week across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors