What Christmas Is Like When You've Just Won The Lottery

Illustrated by Annu Kilpeläinen.
In February 2016, 31-year-old Natalie and her partner Andrew won £1 million on a scratchcard. The couple have a 3-year-old daughter and live in Blackpool.

"Andrew went to the supermarket to buy teabags and on a whim bought a scratchcard. I’m normally one for telling him off for stuff like that. I’d say, “Why do you waste your money on those things?” I was at a play centre with our daughter when I received a phone call from him, asking me where I was. I said I was out and he asked me to come home immediately. I instantly felt sick. "Something bad has happened" I thought. He said it again: “You need to come home now.”

I got back as quick as I could. He sat me down and handed me a scratchcard. “I have no idea what I’m looking at, you need to tell me” I said.

“We’ve won a million pounds.”

It’s so hard to take it in, you don’t quite believe it. I was shaking. Sometimes I still don’t believe it. I just put the kettle on and made a cup of tea and went and sat down.

Andrew proposed that night. He’d actually had the ring for quite a while. It was my Nana’s engagement ring and he’d had it reset. It was really lovely. We could now afford the wedding that we’d always wanted.
Illustrated by Annu Kilpeläinen.
We haven’t had any huge splurges this year – just a couple of holidays. We all went to New York and we’re going to Disneyland Paris in the lead-up to Christmas as a special treat for our daughter. We also finished our house up as we’d been renovating it.

I don’t think Christmas will be all that different this year. We have 13 people coming round to ours this year and that’s what we always do. We’re very down-to-earth people. We’re not really planning on spoiling anyone. Our daughter needs to understand that nothing has changed, really. Anyway, Disneyland is a big treat.

No one has asked us for anything. Obviously it’s an amazing amount of money but you have to be really, really sensible with it to make sure it lasts for you and your family. You could quite easily spend a million pounds these days.

We’ve definitely ordered a bit more food this year – a bigger turkey, a few more pigs in blankets and a few more bottles of prosecco – but it will be more or less the same as other Christmases.

The kids might get a little bit more but I don’t think we’ll give each other big gifts. Unless I get a massive surprise on Christmas Day that I don’t know about!"

As told to Refinery29