A lucky couple have won a £500,000 jackpot twice in the same lottery draw – after almost trying to make one of the tickets void.
Gayle Say, 65, announced her immediate retirement from her cleaning job after celebrating the £1 million win with her husband Philip – describing it as “the best mistake I ever made”.
Mrs Say bought multiple lines for three tickets for the draw but almost asked the shopkeeper to cancel one of the tickets after she realised she had copied the same numbers out twice.
On Thursday, she said she changed her mind about cancelling the ticket because she had thought at the time: “it’s not like we will win anyway”.
Their Thunderball wins, matching five numbers and the bonus ball twice in the draw on October 22, mean the couple can put some money towards finishing their extension and buying a new kitchen.
The couple, from Coventry, almost won for a third time after matching five balls but not the bonus ball – meaning they received £5,000 while their jackpot-winning tickets were being validated.
Mrs Say said: “On the third ticket we matched three numbers to win another £10 plus another £5,000 by matching five numbers, and we claimed this from the Post Office before we had the other tickets validated.”
Mr and Mrs Say said they wanted to treat their grandchildren, with 65-year-old retired builder Philip adding he wanted to buy a car having never previously owned one.
Mrs Say said she had played the lottery since its inception and only had a few £10 winnings over 25 years – adding “this is definitely the biggest”.
Mr Say described how his wife danced around the living room singing Frank Sinatra’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire after she checked the numbers on her phone.
The couple said the numbers were made up of family birthdays so they instantly knew they had won.
Mrs Say said: “With the tickets in my hand, I rushed inside to tell Phil we had won and at the same time I realised another of the tickets had the same number line.
“I kept shouting ‘we’ve won and we’ve won again’. Philip was scrambling around for his glasses to look at the phone to make sure I was right.
“We were both shaking, my legs were wobbling and just looked at my phone in shock.”
Speaking about how her life would change after the win, Mrs Say continued: “I resigned last week after we found out about the win.
“I’ve now worked my week’s notice and as of today (Thursday) I am officially retired. It feels great.
“I won’t have to get up in the cold, dark mornings – I used to have to get up at 6.40am and only had one day off so I worked weekends.
“So, now the clocks have gone back, I can lie in on Saturday and Sunday – that is amazing. I haven’t done that for 28 years.”
Describing the moment they won, Mr Say said: “I immediately started to text the family with the news but no-one believed me.
“I then saw a sight I will never forget – my wife dancing around the living room singing Frank Sinatra’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”
Answering questions about what he would spend his money on, Mr Say said: “You always think about ‘what car shall I get?’ because I haven’t got a car at all, I cycle everywhere.
“There will be something for the kids – it’s a million pounds for our family and not for us.”