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Gravesend Great-Grandmother Wins Thunderball Jackpot

Last Updated: Friday 30th October 2020, 09:58

A great-grandmother’s lucky numbers have paid off for the second time after they helped her to land a Thunderball jackpot of £500,000. Having previously won $20,000 on the lottery when she lived in the USA, she is confident that she can keep her run going and has set her sights on EuroMillions next.

Sheila Garrett, from Gravesend, has been a regular Thunderball player for some time. This year, though, she has switched to playing online rather than in-store due to the coronavirus pandemic. When she saw the results for the draw on Friday 25th September, she knew she was a winner.

Picking up her giant cheque, the 80-year-old recalled: “As soon as I saw the message that I had won, I knew it was the £500,000 top prize. I always knew I would win Thunderball."

While she always had faith that her numbers would come up, Sheila admitted that it would still take some time to process what had happened. She said: “I can't get my head around it at the moment. It is still quite new and hasn't really sunk in. It has become more real after holding the big cheque.”

Choosing Thunderball Numbers

Asked about her lucky numbers, Sheila explained that most of them were based on significant dates, including her own birthday and those of her three children. They had already proved to be profitable for her back in the early 1990s, when she was living in Florida and pocketed $20,000 on the state’s Fantasy 5 game.

Sheila said: “Fantasy 5 only allowed you to choose numbers up to 26, meaning my birth date - the 28th - had to become 2 and 8. The winning numbers in this Thunderball draw of course included 2 and 8.

“Also there were the birth dates of my three children 5, 14 and 24. The all-important Thunderball was number 10 which is supposed to be my lucky number - it certainly seems to be very lucky now.”

With 15 great-grandchildren, Sheila is looking forward to the money making a difference to everyone in the family. Her daughter-in-law Kathy Garrett works as a winner’s advisor for the National Lottery and Sheila would love to become one of those really big winners.

She said: "I've got my eye on the next win - I see the stories in the papers of the big winners my daughter-in-law looks after and it always takes me back to my win in Florida - and now it's happened again.

"It's been a bit more each time so it will have to be EuroMillions next.”

You can play Thunderball or EuroMillions by visiting a National Lottery retailer or playing online. You can even try to land international jackpots online if you feel inspired by Sheila’s story and want to try and snap up multiple big prizes. 

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