David & Carol Martin, both 54, said they were relaxing at home, completely unaware that the Lotto ticket on their mantelpiece held the key to the incredible fortune – until a visit from a friend urged them to check it.
David explained: “My mate Keith had popped over for a chat on Sunday morning when he mentioned that there had been two Lotto winners in the big Rollover the night before. I hadn’t checked my ticket so I removed it from the mantelpiece and thought I’d take a quick look but for some reason we couldn’t find the results in the paper. After Keith had left, Carol and I were tucking into bacon and black pudding rolls when we decided to check the ticket against the results on her phone. I had three lines, all Lucky Dip tickets, and as Carol called out the numbers, I realised that the first line matched up one by one. We must have checked it another ten times or more!
He continued: “I’ve dreamt of this moment many times but when it actually came, it was a just total shock. We were both stunned into silence. We kept re-checking the numbers as we thought there must be a mistake. Then we called Camelot to see if it could possibly be true. The lady at the end of the phone was really nice and told us we were right – we were winners! All we could do was drink lots of hot tea and try and make sense of it all. The information just wasn’t going in!”
The couple went to visit Carol’s mother in the afternoon but couldn’t bring themselves to say anything to anyone until the evening. The first person to be told the amazing news was their 26 year old daughter, Lisa, who lives in Australia.
David said: “We caught Lisa on the telephone as she was driving to work and told her to pull over. She thought something bad had happened as we normally only Skype or WhatsApp her to keep the costs down. So when we telephoned, she was really worried. Then we told her we’ve just won 68 million in Australian Dollars. She couldn’t believe it and thought we were pulling her leg!”
The family haven’t been together for over a year but Mum and Dad have offered to pay the plane fare home as soon as Lisa can arrange it. The family hope to be reunited at the weekend so that they can begin planning their futures.
Carol said: “Lisa loves it out in Australia and has been trying to gain residency over there. She’s been in Australia for more than five years and we last saw her at Christmas 2014. We can’t wait to see her again. With all this going on, it doesn’t seem right not to be together.”
Whilst the family want to wait and plan together, David and Carol do know that they would like to take early retirement as soon as possible. David has been working for the last eight years for Borders Care and Repair (part of Eildon Housing Association) which helps elderly and disabled people fit specialist equipment in their home.
Meanwhile Carol has worked in the local chemist for most of her working life. Both are keen not to leave their employers in the lurch and have really struggled with calling in sick for the last two days.
Carol said: “We are not the type of people to ever call in sick or mess people about. On the rare occasion that I’m not at work, it’s because I’m too poorly to even lift my head off the pillow. David’s the same. It’s such a relief to be able to tell them today the real reason we haven’t been at work this week.”
The couple, who have been married for 28 years, know they would love a new home in the country, local to where they live now, and perhaps a holiday home in the sun. David says he could be tempted by a top of the range Range Rover whilst Carol is simply after an automatic that can get her up the big hills in Hawick. The generous couple also want to help their family and closest friends.
David said: “It’s everyone’s dream to win the lottery. I’ve talked about winning and what I would do so many times. But now it’s actually here my mind’s gone blank. We don’t have all the answers yet but we’d like to help our closest friends and family and there are charities which are important to us too. Parts of our community have also been hit by flooding and we know lots of people who have struggled in recent times so there’s a lot for us to work out but it’s a nice problem to have.”
David follows many sports and is a keen golfer too so doesn’t think he’ll get bored with his new found freedom. He now hopes to spend his ‘golden’ years watching some of the greatest sporting events live in person including the FA Cup final, the Masters in Augusta, the next Rugby World Cup and may be even the Olympic Games in Rio later this year. Meanwhile Carol fancies a trip to Wimbledon to watch the tennis.
Whilst David is a keen golfer he has been unable to play for some months due to a heart condition called Atrial Fibrillation. Carol explained: “David has been suffering in recent months from an irregular heart rate and has been taking medication to help control it. He will need to have a small operation soon to help steady the pulses and after that should be back out on the golf course before too long.”
David & Carol’s winning Lotto Jackpot ticket was bought from Morrisons in Hawick and the winning numbers were 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58.
The couple’s win has catapulted them to the top of the Lotto rich list, overtaking the previous biggest Lotto winners, Paul Maddison and Mark Gardiner, who shared a £22.5 million jackpot in 1995. The second ticket-holder who shared Saturday’s jackpot is yet to claim their prize.
David & Carol are one of the 70 Lotto millionaires who have been made in the last three months, more than double the number created in the three months before. This includes jackpot winners and the guaranteed millionaires made by Lotto Millionaire Raffle in each and every draw.