Violet Grahamshaw is the latest player to win big after playing the pan-European lottery. The 63-year-old from Berwick-upon-Tweed successfully matched one of the two UK Millionaire Maker codes in the draw on Friday 18th August to walk away with a £1 million prize, and plans to spend her winnings on something that she has been dreaming of for some time - a brand new sewing machine.
"Since retiring three years ago I have been doing a lot of knitting and dress making,” the prosperous pensioner told reporters upon collecting her seven-figure sum from National Lottery headquarters. "When Camelot confirmed that I had won £1 million I just couldn't believe it and I think I went into shock.”
The keen knitter, who only found out that she was a winner after her husband checked a pile of discarded tickets, landed enough money to buy a million balls of wool, but insists that some of the cash may be set aside for home improvements. "I think I'll also treat the kids and take the whole family on holiday to celebrate," she said.
Of course, there are plenty of other bizarre purchases made by EuroMillions winners. Lottery lover Adrian Bayford, who scooped £148 million in August 2012, was such a big fan of music that he opted to open his own shop featuring the world’s largest collection of Lady Gaga memorabilia. The mass of souvenirs and tokens from the pop singer’s career included costumes, vinyl discs and shoes. According to a source close to the jackpot winner, Adrian had become “bored” and wanted to return to work.
However, Adrian Bayford’s pop purchases were small in comparison to the purchase made by EuroMillions winner Les Scadding. The former mechanic, who won £45.5 million in 2009, splashed his cash and invested in non-league football club Newport County, bankrolling them to promotion to the Football League in the space of just 12 months. The lifelong Bristol City fan chose to invest in the Exiles after becoming enchanted with the Welsh city: “I wanted to give something back,” Scadding told reporters. “I first came to the area when I’d been through a rough period in my life. Newport gave me a second chance.”
The average winner may plump for a new house, a fresh car and masses of expensive jewelry, but there’s always plenty more to buy with a big lottery win, with an acre of the moon and a robotic lawn mower appearing on the list of quirky buys. Meanwhile, overseas winners are capable of producing the odd surprise or two. In 2011, Mega Millions winner John Kutey donated money to help build a water park in New York, while a year later, Bob Erb, who claimed a Lotto Max jackpot worth $25 million, opted to use his newfound wealth to help promote the legalisation of marijuana.
Regardless of how you would spend a vast EuroMillions win, tonight’s top prize of £33 million is not one to be missed. For your chance to win, pick your numbers online or play through any authorised retailer in participating countries. And don’t forget to select your numbers ahead of this Friday’s Superdraw, when the jackpot will be an estimated £115 million. Good luck!