'We're just simple people' - Wakefield lottery winners reflect on anniversary of £6.62m prize

As they look back on the anniversary of their £6.62m lottery win, Amanda and Graham Nield celebrate their family and good fortune, but insist that the money hasn't changed them.

Friday, 28th August 2020, 4:43 pm
Updated Monday, 31st August 2020, 6:19 pm

They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but it certainly doesn’t do any harm.

And for Amanda and Graham Nield, it provided a layer of security that let them put their family at the top of their list of priorities.

The couple, from Wakefield, had their dreams come true in August 2013, when they discovered they had won a whopping £6.62 million on a lottery ticket.

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As they look back on the anniversary of their £6.63m lottery win, Amanda and Graham Nield celebrate their family and good fortune, but insist that the money hasn't changed them.

But as they reflect on their win seven years later, they insist the money hasn’t changed them.

“I try to be me,” Amanda says. “I don’t want to be anyone else. I don’t rub it in anyone’s face.

“We’re simple people, we love a bargain.

“Apart from being keen golf players and holidays a couple of times a year, I wouldn’t say we live highly.

Amanda and Graham, left, on their wedding day in 2013, and right in 2019.

“Neither of us have ever gone after the top name clothes, I’ve always said what’s the point.

“After we won, we both worked our notice periods at work, we weren’t just going to leave them.

“I don’t tell anyone really [about the money], it’s only when it comes up.”

At the time of their win, the couple had five children between them, and 13 grandchildren. They have now welcomed another five grandchildren, and are expecting their first great-grandchild later this year.

Amanda and Graham made their first appearance in the local news after going public with their winnings in 2013.

Combine this with the fact that the pair still carry out all the cleaning and gardening at their five bedroom home, it is perhaps unsurprising that they consider themselves very grounded and practical people.

The win, in August 2013, was a huge surprise for Graham and Amanda, who had been facing a major lifestyle change as they prepared to move in with Amanda’s mum and dad, who were battling cancer and Alzheimer's respectively.

Amanda said: “I was working shifts and Graham worked full time and my dad was getting worse. I was going up in the middle of the night to the hospital with him and then having to phone work saying I was going to be late.

“It was taking it out of both of us, so we decided that we were going to move in with them so we were there and could control the situation.

“We were doing a car boot sale every weekend. What we collected we were going to have a new kitchen put in mum and dad’s.

“It was our last Sunday morning, we got up and did a car boot. We came home and ordered a Chinese. I was sat on a computer chair and Graham on a stool. We had no furniture because we were ready to move.

“I saw him look and then check his phone and check again. He said ‘I’ve won’.

“But he’d wound me up before about it so I went on and checked myself and that’s when I went on.

“We were ecstatic, I was jumping all over the place.”

But by that time, the National Lottery helpline had closed for the day, and the couple were faced with an agonising wait to confirm their winnings with operators Camelot.

“We went to work the next day,” Amanda said. “It was a nightmare. I kept going up to the office, but Graham wanted to get all the morning meetings out the way and made me wait until 11am.

“We locked the door and rang them. We had her on loudspeaker and she asked if we were sitting down and then congratulated us.”

Graham and Amanda agreed to go public with their win, and then faced a long wait for the announcement, during which time they were unable to tell even their closest friends and family about the win.

After an agonising wait - and a few meetings with Camelot's financial advisers - they were finally able to celebrate their new £6,676,215 fortune the following week.

But the announcement turned into a double celebration, when Graham seized the opportunity to carry out a long-planned proposal - and they wed just six weeks later at Dewsbury Register Office.

Speaking at the time, he said: “Winning the Lotto was an amazing experience but I really hit the jackpot when Amanda agreed to marry me.

“The wedding day was everything we’d hoped for and despite our millions we didn’t need a lavish venue to make it special.

“All that was important to us was that our family and friends could share our day and watch us say ‘I do’.”

As they reflect on their seven years as millionaires, Amanda is grateful that she was given the chance to care for her parents in their final years, which were spent in a custom built annex at the family's home in the countryside close to Wakefield.

They were also able to contribute towards the private care of Graham's father, Jim, who they sadly lost to a heart attack in 2018.

She said: "When my dad first found out he'd got Alzheimer's, I promised him he never go into a care home.

"He died right here, he was happy and passed peacefully.

"I'm grateful we won, because I wouldn't have been able to be there with them. They had a good time here."