Incredible timely win comes after a year riddled with tragedy
By Kate Northrop
CHIPPING NORTON, U.K. — A couple who suffered a year’s worth of hardship was hanging on by a thread, but one well-timed lottery prize was the long-awaited good karma to tip the scales and help lift the husband and wife out of their streak of misfortune.
Just a day after being furloughed from his job as a wood machinist due to difficulties caused by COVID-19, David Adams, 61, found out that they had won a £1 million (US$1.3 million) prize from the United Kingdom National Lottery’s Lotto draw.
To many, losing your job can seem catastrophic. For the Adams household, it was just the last straw following the “catalog of difficulties” they had experienced in the year prior.
Twelve months ago, David’s wife, Shelley, 52, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a life-changing and potentially disabling disease of the brain and central nervous system.
“Just last year, Shelley was diagnosed with MS and had to give up the job she loved as a community carer, putting a strain on our finances and heightening her clinical anxiety,” David said.
The diagnosis was challenging to accept, but the Adams family was hit with more devastating news. In April, Shelley’s sister died from a heart attack. Just two weeks later in early May, David’s brother passed away after battling COVID-19.
“It’s been a really tough time, but we stick together and try to keep smiling, whatever life has thrown at us,” David remarked. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think the next thing thrown our way would be £1 million.”
The fist bit of good news in a long time came in the early hours of Sunday morning when David cross-checked his numbers for the Lotto draw. Trembling, he went into his bedroom to ask his wife if she was awake.
“Well I am now,” she grumpily replied.
As he switched on the light, her crankiness immediately turned into worry as she observed her husband visibly shaking. He told her that they had won the lottery.
At first, Shelley was furious — she thought her husband was referring to a small £10 prize, but David was absolutely serious. They rushed into their son’s bedroom to wake him up too.
“The poor man, he was meant to be up at 6:00 am to get to work and there I am, waving a phone in his face and telling him we’ve won £1 million,” Shelley recalled. “Needless to say, none of us slept well the rest of the night, and we were relieved to confirm the win with Camelot in the morning.”
Although loved ones are irreplaceable, the lottery prize seemed to have provided the Adams family a much-needed reprieve from a series of difficult events. Currently, they are making plans to fly, first class of course, to Canada to see friends and family.
“We have friends and family in Canada who we thought we would only ever see online, certainly never in person,” Shelley explained. “I’ve never even been on a plane or left the country before. It’s crazy to think the first time I will do it will be first class all the way.”
Beyond that, David also wants to use the money to buy a new car.
“Firstly, a new car is on the cards,” he stated. “A Nissan Qashqai is top of the list, although as I currently drive a Ford Mondeo, which has always seen me right, I might take a little browse around the Ford dealership too.”
Most importantly, the couple made a point to say that, although they have concrete plans for how they’ll use some of the winnings, they are not planning on rushing any decisions.
“We’ve always worked hard and know the value of money, but this is a number far beyond anything we could ever comprehend,” David said.
The winning numbers for the Saturday, August 1, 2020 Lotto draw were 4, 10, 13, 24, 53, and 56. The bonus ball was 22. The Adams couple matched five numbers plus the bonus ball to win the £1 million prize. According to Shelley, David bought the ticket online and has always used the same two lines of numbers, citing their significant importance.