Lottery couple on spending £12.4m fortune – including giving less at Christmas

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A mum has told of her "out of body" experience when she won £12.4m on the EuroMillions – and revealed her sons got worse Christmas presents after the windfall.

Sharon Mather, 50, saw her lucky dip numbers come up on the TV and was so emotional her husband thought something had happened to their two boys.

She stopped hotel manager Nigel going watch England at the pub and they celebrated by drinking three Magners and ordering a Chinese, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The former finance worker has now tearfully relived the moment their lives were changed during the Euros 2010 with the public for the time.

Sharon said their teenage sons received less for Christmas than before their win so they stay grounded and joked how her "Hawaii 5-0" 50th birthday was delayed due to Covid.

She and ex-hotel manager Nigel, 55, gave their first interview about their life-changing win to the Manchester Evening News.

Former Trafford Council worker Sharon said they picked up the ticket while on holiday and only discovered they had won when they returned home in Sale, Greater Manchester.

She checked the number via the TV while Nigel had headed off to Tesco to get some food shopping.

"There’s got to be something wrong," Sharon recalls thinking.

"It just doesn’t happen to normal people like us. I phoned my husband and told him to come home quick and he thought something had happened to the kids or my dad.

"But I said 'No, I think we’ve just won the EuroMillions.'"

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With Nigel due to go to the pub to watch the England game, Sharon made him stay home as she dealt with the shock of the win.

Getting choked up recalling the moment, she said: "It’s actually quite emotional when you think about it.

"It was surreal. It was like you had come out of your body and looking down."

The couple's celebration ended up being quite modest as they ordered a Chinese takeaway – which they didn’t eat – and shared three Magners, as that was what was in the house.

Sharon and Nigel changed their minds about going public after realising that it would make helping family and friends more difficult and see them having to lie about their sudden windfall.

Gifting some of their winnings to family and friends became like the ‘Secret Millionaire’, said Sharon.

Reece is 15 and Lewis has just turned 12, but were just one and three at the time of their family’s massive news.

"They came home and asked, ‘Mum, have we won the lottery?’ and we had to sit them down then and tell them," said Sharon.

"Even now at Christmas time, they don’t ask for anything silly. In fact, they probably get less because we don’t want to overly give them too much."

The Mathers first used the money to buy a bungalow for Sharon's dad then moved to their BowdOn home and bought a holiday spot in Abersoch, north Wales.

They made a large donation to Manchester’s Francis House Hospice following the death of their 18-year-old niece.

Nigel is also now the chairman of local charity Stockdales, which his mother used to work at.

Sharon says there is still one big thing they want to do 11 years on: "We were going to go to Hawaii for my 50th. Hawaii 5-0,” she laughed. But that’s obviously been delayed now. That’s still on our tick list."

She added: "Our main thing is the boys' future. We just want to support the children now and set them up for life.

"But not rely on us. Get them to live on their own two feet as every other kid should do."

  • Euromillions
  • Money
  • Christmas
  • Family

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