IT IS a gamble that has paid off in spectacular style for hundreds of people in Yorkshire, with the region’s Lottery-made millionaires having now shared just over £1billion since the game began.
Six matching numbers have brought seven-figure rewards for 386 Lottery players in the region and 4,000 people nationally since 1994 - meaning a grand total of £11.5bn has been shared between members of the Lottery millionaires club since 1994.
To celebrate the milestones a ‘Millionaire Champagne spray off’ was staged in Roundhay Park yesterday where previous winners joined in the fun, including Amanda, 50, and Graham Nield, 58, who moved to Wakefield from Dewsbury after winning £6.6m in August 2013.
Mr Nield had double cause for celebration, with the win prompting him to propose to Amanda on the same day, and he later built a house which allowed for his new fiancée’s father, who has Alzheimer’s, to live with them.
“Winning has changed my life immensely,” Mr Nield said.
“We were renting at the time and Amanda’s dad was poorly with Alzheimer’s and at the weekend we were due to move in with him.
“Now there’s no stress. We’ve built the house I’d dreamed of, looked after our five kids and are able to look after Amanda’s dad full-time.”
The Nields were joined by Elaine and Rob Leason, from Driffield, who won £1.4m each in 2005 as part of an 11 person strong £18.2m Tesco syndicate.
Susan Crossland and her husband Michael, from Mirfield, won £1.2m in July 2008 with the numbers her late father had played.
“My dad passed away in 2006 and I took his Lottery numbers on, and on the anniversary of his death we won.
“I felt quite guilty because he always said he wanted to win. He also said he would come back to see us as a rainbow, and later I went to see a psychic who said Dad was going to leave me a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.”
Since then, the Crosslands have supported various charities with their time and money, and have built a house so that Mrs Crossland’s sister who has brain damage, and her brother and a second sister, who both have autism, can live with them.
As well as creating millionaires, the Lottery has raised £34bn for good causes, benefitting more than 450,000 individual projects to date.