LUCKY lottery winners have given people a glimpse into their richer new lives to help mark the 20th anniversary of the competition.
Lynne Pittiglio, from Albany in Washington, and Ian and Kim McCarthy, from Fatfield, were among a host of winners from across the region who gathered to help mark the milestone of the draw.
They joined with bosses at Beamish Museum, which was gifted a grant of £603,800 earlier this year through the Heritage Lottery Fund to help it continue its work.
Lynne, 56, kept her job as a Slimming World consultant since her win of more than £180,000 in September last year, when her husband John 58, who works for Washington Metalworks in Felling, and grandson Jack, now eight, checked her numbers against the television text service.
Lynne, also gran to Tom, six, and mum to David, 34, Maria, 30, and Sam, 28, was just about to sign the £47,000 remortgage of their home to carry out a host of improvements and buy a car when she discovered the win.
She said: “We’d paid the house off two years previously and wanted to do this work so we didn’t have to when we retired.
“When John said I’d won, I thought it would be a tenner and it was a bit more than that.”
She said the family was “very much wiser” with money since the win, with a large amount of it saved to make the most out of the windfall for the long term.
Kim, 51, and Ian, 50, both left their jobs, Kim as a gaming supervisor at Gala in the Galleries, and Ian from Nissan, where he had worked for 20 years, since they won the Euromillions £1million raffle last Boxing Day.
They have recently moved half a mile from a three-bedroomed town house to a five-bed detached home.
The couple, who are parents to Jonathon, 22, and Anthony, 28, did not believe it until the moment a Camelot representative confirmed the win.
“I would say the difference is we don’t work now and retired early and it’s just a case of doing things when we want, rather than having to run them around work.”
The couple enjoy regular trips to London, where they do their Christmas shopping in Harrods, but say they are still careful with their money and hunt out a bargain.
Jim Rees, assistant director at Beamish, said: “On behalf of Beamish Museum, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all those who have played The National Lottery over the past two decades. “Their money has not only helped change the lives of many lucky winners, but it has also secured the future of important cultural and heritage sites, just like Beamish.
“Without this essential funding, we simple would not be able to develop our museum for the enjoyment of future generations.”