Scottish couple who win £33 million are biggest winners ever in British Lotto draw

British Lotto winners David and Carol Martin.
British Lotto winners David and Carol Martin.PHOTO: EPA

As Americans flocked to snap up last-minute tickets in the final countdown to Wednesday's (Jan 14) record US$1.5 billion (S$2.15 billion) Powerball jackpot, a Scottish couple have become the biggest Lotto winners in Britain ever by winning £33 million (S$68 million).

And their first reaction: Drink "lots of hot tea".

Mr David Martin and his wife Carol, both 54 and are from the town of Hawick, told British papers that they stared at each other silently for five minutes before downing many cups of tea. They have been married for 28 years.

"The initial shock was surreal. If we'd won £50,000, we'd have been dancing round the living room. But the £33m is still really unbelievable. We just sat quietly and didn't speak to each other for about five minutes," The Guardian quoted Mr Martin as saying.

They checked the numbers many times, and called Camelot, the British lottery organiser, to confirm.

 

"All we could do was drink lots of hot tea and try and make sense of it all. The information just wasn't going in," he said.

They then called their 26-year-old daughter Lisa, who is working in Australia, to tell her the good news.

Lisa, who moved to Melbourne in 2011, will be flying home on a first-class ticket to celebrate her parents' win, the Martins said at a press conference on Wednesday (Jan 13).

The family have not been together for more than a year.

The Martins will spend some of their millions on a holiday home, and to attend the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Mr Martin, who loves playing golf, said he would like to go to the Masters Golf tournament, and buy a Range Rover.

They will also be donating some of their winnings to flood relief in the town.

Floods hit large parts of Scotland in early December last year and about 600 people were evacuated from their homes along the River Teviot in Hawick.

Mr Martin, who works for Borders Care and Repair, which helps elderly and disabled fit equipment in their homes, told The Daily Mail: "It's everyone's dream to win the lottery. I've talked about winning and what I would do so many times. But now it's actually here my mind's gone blank.

"We don't have all the answers yet but we'd like to help our closest friends and family, and there are charities which are important to us too."

Mrs Martin works at local pharmacy Boots, but she had been calling in sick for the past few days, she said.

Her co-workers were "excited" for her after they found out what had happened, she said.

"They know that I'm never sick, so they thought there was something going on," she added.

The couple's huge win was just half of a £66 million jackpot that had been rolled over 14 times, and the other winner has yet to come forward.

The winning numbers, revealed on Saturday (Jan 9) night, were 26, 27, 46, 47, 52 and 58.

Still, Mr and Mrs Martin's £33 million prize money eclipses the £22.6 million won by Mr Paul Maddison and Mr Mark Gardiner from Hastings, East Sussex, in 1995.

Another British couple won substantially more money in 2011 in the EuroMillions draw.

Scottish couple Chris and Colin Weir scooped £161 million in the draw which is played across many European countries.