Last Updated: Tuesday 13th March 2007, 14:51 pm
A couple who won a Lotto jackpot worth £2,561,750 found it very easy to keep their win a secret for more than a month, because even they didn't realise that they'd won themselves!
Lynn and Terry Patience from Barking in Essex matched all six numbers to win the National Lottery jackpot on February 7, 2007. Then, several weeks later, the National Lottery organisers launched a publicity campaign in their area to tell people that the jackpot still hadn't been claimed, and to encourage Lotto players to check their old tickets. Their daughter heard about this on the radio and passed the message onto Lynn, who knew that her husband kept their lottery tickets in a drawer and only checked the numbers occasionally.
"Our daughter knows what Terry is like with the Lotto tickets," Lynn said, "so when she heard about the missing ticket on the radio she was on the phone saying we should check our tickets because we might have won the jackpot. When Terry took them into Thames View Post Office I just had a feeling it might be us. I could not believe it when Terry called me from the shop to say we had won - everything has been a blur since!"
Lynn and Terry, who are both West Ham fans, celebrated their win with champagne at Upton Park. "Whenever there is something on the news about missing winners I often say at work how I could be a millionaire and not know it, and now I really am," Lynn said. "We still can't believe it."
Having been secret millionaires for over a month, Lynn and Terry are now making plans to spend their money wisely. At the top of their shopping list is taking care of their family, followed by the purchase of a new home and possibly a villa in Spain. There will also be plenty of trips for their children and grandchildren (all fans of West Ham) to see their favourite team play at Upton Park.
The numbers that won Lynn and Terry more than £2.5million were based on family birthdays and had been played every Wednesday and Saturday for twelve years, thus proving that patience pays - at least for Mr and Mr Patience!
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