"I Won... I Quit!"
Last Updated: Wednesday 25th May 2011, 13:37 pm
The winner of the £8,372,751 Lotto jackpot on April 7 celebrated by resigning from her job as a cinema operator just one hour after finding out about her good fortune. Jennifer Southall, who has three teenage children, has been playing the Lotto game ever since it was launched as the National Lottery in 1994.
On this occasion Jennifer bought a Lucky Dip ticket from a Tesco store near her home in Newport, Gwent. A seasoned lottery player, Jennifer knew exactly how to keep her ticket secure.
"The day I bought the ticket I slipped it in my bra for safekeeping before putting it in my purse later in the day," Jennifer explained. "I never thought for one moment it would end up changing my life. When I went back to Tesco last Friday to check the numbers the shop assistant looked at me and said: 'I think you've won rather a lot of money.'
"When she printed off the slip showing exactly what I'd won I started dancing from one foot to the other. A queue of people had built up behind me and they must have thought I was some sort of demented fool. I suddenly felt sick - and still do - although now it's a very excited sort of sick feeling. I walked over the road to work, told my manager I'd won the lottery and handed in my notice there and then.
"When I went to have my ticket checked Camelot gave me a bottle of champagne to help me celebrate, but I just went home and ordered a pizza. I still haven't opened the champagne - I have never tasted real champagne in my life."
Jennifer didn't wait long before she started enjoying her fortune. In fact she took her mother and sister shopping on her very first day as a multi-millionaire.
"We thought we'd go mad and go shopping together in Newport," Jennifer said. "I've never gone through so much money before in a single day. I spent about £1,500 on clothes, phones, a new handbag and a posh pair of trainers. We had great fun."
That shopping trip was a fun introduction to life as a wealthy woman, but the single mum is now planning how to splurge big time. At the top of the "must have" list is a brand new car (just as soon as Jennifer has learned to drive), a trip to Spain and a new home.
"I've also always wanted to live in a big house with a swimming pool - and a bedroom for me that's far enough away from the kids that I won't be able to hear their music blaring anymore!" Jennifer said.
However, like most Lotto millionaires, she won't be moving far: "I love Newport and even though I shall look to buy a much bigger house, I can't ever imagine myself moving away from the area. All my family and friends are here and they are very important to me," she said.
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