Two best friends from Tyne and Wear are celebrating winning a UK Lotto jackpot of £15.3 million. Lorraine Smith and Paula Barraclough, known to one another as Lolly and Polly, landed the sizeable sum in the draw on Saturday 18th February after correctly matching the numbers 11, 13, 21, 37, 49 and 59.
The pair, who plan to share the eight-figure sum equally, were presented to the media on Wednesday at Lumley Castle in Chester-le-Street, and were still coming to terms with the enormity of the situation. “The news really is still sinking in,” Lorraine told reporters. “I thought I was hallucinating – I just thought this can’t really be happening. It was only when I got on the phone to Camelot I realised my best friend and I really were millionaires!”
The 54-year-old winner continued, sharing the story of how she came to purchase the lucky ticket: “I always stay at my mum’s house on Friday night. I was full of cold when I woke up on Saturday morning and went out to the bus stop at 6:30am for my journey to work.” However, once it became clear that the bus Lorraine was waiting to catch was not turning up, she sought shelter in a nearby newsagents. “I discovered I had a £2 coin and some loose change in my pocket so I popped into the local shop and bought a Lucky Dip Lotto ticket,” the recently widowed mother-of-one told journalists, never thinking that it was this snap decision that would change her life forever.
Best pal Paula went on to explain how her friend of 17 years broke the life-changing news. “I was in bed on Sunday morning and the phone rang at 7:15am. Lorraine never calls this early,” she recalled. “I picked up the phone and said to her ‘You better be calling to tell me that we have won the lottery, waking me up at this time!’” To which the voice of her sidekick replied: “We have! We have all six numbers!”
The attentions of the pair quickly turned to how their copious amounts of cash would be spent. After living with her parents, Paula, 45, is looking forward to moving into a place of her own: “This win is life-changing, it means I will finally be able to move into a house of my own, rather than living with my parents and I can start to write my dream shopping list.” Meanwhile, Lorraine only had one purchase on her mind: “I literally threw my old frying pan away the day before I became a multi-millionaire so a new frying pan will definitely be one of the first things I will be buying.”
If you would like to be in with a chance of winning a UK Lotto prize of your very own, or claim one as part of a close-knit collective, tickets for this Saturday’s £2 million draw are available to purchase online or from any authorised retailer. Best of luck!