A grandfather who encouraged his daughter to start playing the Lottery with him after she gave birth to his first grandchild was thrilled to tell her they’d won a whopping £700,000 with a set of very specially selected numbers.
Derek Daniels, 77, and daughter Lorraine, 41, picked their numbers after baby Lotus was born seven years ago – based on a combination of her birth date, baby weight, room she was born in and the day she was christened.
They’ve played every draw since with numbers 1, 7, 9, 10, 12, 31 and a bonus ball of 28 – but finally came up trumps on last Wednesday, scooping a £729,026 share of the £2,187,078 jackpot.
The win comes just two months after Gerry and Lisa Cannings, who live just six miles from the dad and daughter in Peterborough, Cambs., scooped £32 million on the Lotto.
Derek and Lorraine plan to use the money to pay back kind friends and family who have rallied round to buy specialist equipment for Lotus who suffered a series of fits after she was born, resulting in her needing half of her brain removed.
Derek said: “I don’t know how many cups of tea and coffee we went through but it was a very memorable moment for a dad to share with his daughter and believe me, we’ve shared many memorable moments.
“We were sitting there somewhere between stunned and crazy.
“We kept thinking about all the things that were now possible and how all our heartache and worry for Lotus’ future was over.
“Making that call was wonderful but even after it had been confirmed we were still in absolute shock, going through every magical how, what, why and when to spend.”
After realising they’d won, Derek rang Lorraine, who only lives around the corner from him in Whittlesey, Cambs., leaving her convinced something awful had happened.
She said: “It was just before eight when dad called and my immediate thought was something had happened to mum but all he said was ‘what are your Lottery numbers?’
“To be honest I thought he was going potty but he told me to sit down and then said, ‘you’ve won the Lottery’ – then it was me who went slightly potty.”
Lorraine turned on the TV to check and saw the magic six numbers that the family syndicate has been based on since Lotus was born.
With 45 minutes to go until the Camelot claim line opened, Derek and Lorraine, who were one of five UK winners, hid the ticket away safely and nervously waited to stake their claim.
Lorraine who, cares for Lotus full-time, hasn’t had a proper night sleep in years, is now safe in the knowledge that things will get a lot easier for them.
Lotus was only a couple of weeks old when she started to suffer with epileptic fits which worsened over time.
At the age of three, the youngster was having 300 a day and doctor’s recommended putting her into an induced coma.
Then in April 2014 Lotus underwent a nine and half hour operation at Great Ormond Street to have the right side of her brain removed.
“Since her operation Lotus has baffled all the doctors and specialists who predicted a very limited quality of life,” said Lorraine.
“She is learning to walk again and communicate through sign language, and she’s doing really well at her school.
“The Lotto win is amazing, Lotus is our miracle.”
With the winnings now safely in the bank, Derek and Lorraine now plan to payback their local community who recently raised funds for Lotus to have a specialist bed.
Lorraine said: “Lotus has always slept with me, originally so that I was there to manage the seizures and since her miracle recovery, in case she falls out of bed and can’t call for me.
“I couldn’t afford the specialist bed so the community was amazing and recently raised enough money for us to order it.
“Who would have thought that when we placed that order, before the bed had even arrived, I would have won the Lottery and can now pay back the community so the money can go to another worthy cause.”
Lorraine also hopes to use her share to take Lotus on holiday, and would like to move house within the community that has continued to support them.
Derek, who bought the family’s winning Lotto ticket from Parkers News in Whittlesey, Cambs., currently plans to use his share to pay for a cruise and a new car for him and wife Thelma, 69.
In their postcode area alone, there have been nearly 359 individual National Lottery grants made to date, funding projects across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors.
For more information on National Lottery funding, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk