Overnight mil­lion­aires

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By ES­THER AD­DLEY

chelsea fan and his part­ner win £101mil in third big­gest lot­tery jack­pot in bri­tish his­tory.

IF counted out in £50 notes, £101mil (RM496.5mil) would weigh the same as an adult male white rhino, or it would stack in a tower four times higher than Nel­son’s col­umn in cen­tral Lon­don, says the UK lot­tery op­er­a­tor Camelot.

Dave and Angie Dawes will not be col­lect­ing their wind­fall in £50 notes – it has al­ready been paid, as it hap­pens, into a new pri­vate bank ac­count set up on their be­half – but the scale of their enor­mous Euro Mil­lions lot­tery win seemed scarcely less non­sen­si­cal as they were re­vealed last week as the win­ners of the third big­gest lot­tery jack­pot in Bri­tish his­tory.

A clutch of lucky friends and fam­ily mem­bers can also ex­pect a wind­fall, says Dave.

“We’ve drawn up a list of 15 to 20 peo­ple that we’re go­ing to make mil­lion­aires. Any­one who has helped us through our lives.”

The former shift su­per­vi­sor for Premier Foods in Wis­bech, Cam­bridgeshire, east­ern Eng­land, and the former Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion char­ity shop vol­un­teer were un­der­stand­ably a lit­tle shell-shocked when their numbers came up on Oct 7 as they strug­gled to ar­tic­u­late what it meant to have be­come, in a blink, twice as wealthy as Cold­play’s Chris Martin and his wife Gwyneth Pal­trow.

They had been watch­ing the broad­cast as the balls were drawn. Angie, 43, was hold­ing the ticket and ex­claim­ing, as first one num­ber came up, then an­other: “Oh my God, we’ve got an­other one. Oh my God, we’ve got an­other one.”

By the time they had four she was scream­ing, says Dave, 47. By five, “she went into melt­down.”

They slept not a wink, check­ing and re-check­ing the numbers “about 50 times dur­ing the night” be­fore they could phone and con­firm whether their life was, in­deed, about to be al­tered ir­re­vo­ca­bly. Dave kept the ticket in the pocket of his jeans, which he did not take off all night.

If the nar­ra­tive of shell­shock and be­wil­dered glee, and the sym­bol­ism of gi­ant cheques and clinked cham­pagne glasses, was fa­mil­iar af­ter 17 years of Bri­tish lot­tery wins, few could be­grudge the cou­ple their shy de­light at the win and the dif­fer­ent life it made pos­si­ble.

Dave promised Angie a new en­gage­ment ring to re­place the £800 one he bought in a high street jewellers. She hasn’t looked yet, but “it’s go­ing to be a di­a­mond.”

The cou­ple have been to­gether for four years but they hadn’t mar­ried be­cause they couldn’t af­ford it, she says, although she has changed her name to his.

Their planned wed­ding in Por­tu­gal next year – her sec­ond, his third – will now be “a bit more glam­orous.”

Angie’s par­ents live in Por­tu­gal, and they will get a house there, she says, as well as one in Chelsea, Lon­don, close to Dave’s beloved foot­ball team.

He had al­ready had a look at one on the mar­ket for £13mil, he says, but it needs re­fur­bish­ment, “so I thought I would leave that alone.”

He wants one room ded­i­cated to Chelsea mem­o­ra­bilia, to which Angie has agreed – pro­vid­ing she gets to choose the paint colours.

The full value of their win took both lines of a gi­ant cheque to spell out: “One hun­dred and one mil­lion, two hun­dred and three thou­sand, six hun­dred pounds and seventy pence”.

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