A retired teacher who scooped more than £3.6million on the EuroMillions plans to splash the cash ticking off items on her, including holidays to exotic destinations.
Celeste Coles, 69, bought a last minute lotto ticket and at first thought she had won £3,000 when she matched five numbers and one Lucky Star. But she soon discovered she had scooped a staggering £3,665,079.10p in the draw held on July 12.
The mum, who has two grown-up daughters, including Rachel who has Down’s syndrome, initially feared she was the victim of a scam. She was unable to verify the win because the Camelot phone lines were closed overnight but the next day they confirmed she was a multi-millionaire.
Celeste, from Birmingham, now plans to share the money with her family and fund her own bucket list - including travelling to exotic places around the world. She said: “I play occasionally but that afternoon I received an email referring to the large EuroMillions jackpot that night and thought to myself I must get a ticket.
“Remembering just moments before the sales closed I got myself a Lucky Dip ticket. I didn’t think much of it and was about to go to bed when I remembered and thought I’d quickly check the draw results.
“One by one I ticked off the numbers, by the fifth main number I knew I’d won something big-ish, but then when I spotted I had also matched one of the Lucky Stars I knew I’d won something even bigger.
“I’ve always been a pretty calm person, so there was no whooping from me, but I did decide a glass of water and a sit down was in order. Now I think about it, I was probably in shock and I still am! You never think it will really happen to you.”
Celeste, who was born in Barbados, bought her winning EuroMillions Lucky Dip ticket via the National Lottery App. Her winning numbers were: 14, 18, 24, 25, 50 and Lucky Star 11.
The mum plans to share her whopping win with her two grown-up daughters, Rachel, 38, who has Down’s syndrome, and Nicola, 32. Celeste said: “I have two amazing daughters, Rachel is my oldest daughter and she has Down’s syndrome, and her younger sister is Nicola.
“When Nicola called I asked her to check my ticket for me. She read the draw results one by one, as I said ‘yes, yes, yes’. Her reaction was brilliant, she said ‘mum, is this a scam?! Stop it, I don’t believe you!’ and insisted I send her a photo.”
The excited family tried to confirm the win but the phone lines to Camelot were closed so they faced a sleepness night until the re-opened the next day. Celeste added: “Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very much that night and called Camelot as soon as the lines opened. When the win was confirmed I finally let myself believe it was all real.”
Celeste already had a big trip to Barbados planned for the summer so jetted off to see her family soon after the money hit her bank account. Since coming back she has been busy planning how she wants to enjoy her winnings, which include taking care of her family and some epic bucket list adventures.
She said: “The biggest thing for me is knowing that I now have financial security and that my girls will have a more comfortable life - especially Rachel. Bringing up a child with Down’s syndrome has been challenging at times but also rewarding. We have been supported by some excellent charities that have had an enormous impact on our lives.
“Pure and Midland Mencap in particular have been a great support and do brilliant work including giving Rachel the opportunity to work and integrate more fully with the community.
“I’ve always worked hard and now have a comfortable life, so there is nothing that I really want as such although I wouldn’t mind a holiday home in Spain, something I never thought would have been possible.
“I also have some trips that I’d love to take. I’ve always wanted to go to South America, so a trip to Rio, Chile, Brazil and Argentina are definitely on the cards. I’d also like to go on a train trip through the Rocky Mountains - that’s a real bucket list dream that I can now hopefully tick off in the not too distant future.”
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