Best friends celebrate after scooping £15million Lotto jackpot

Two best friends from Tyne and Wear are celebrating today after scooping the £15,342,900 jackpot in last Saturday's Lotto draw (18 February 2017).

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 22nd February 2017, 11:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:06 am
Best friends Paula Barraclough, left, and Lorraine Smith celebrate at the Lumley Castle hotel after scooping the 15million jackpot.
Best friends Paula Barraclough, left, and Lorraine Smith celebrate at the Lumley Castle hotel after scooping the 15million jackpot.

Paula Barraclough, 45, and Lorraine Smith, 54, known to each other as Polly and Lolly – say they can now live the life they always dreamed of, with first-class flights to Las Vegas topping their shopping list.

The pair, who have been friends for more than 17 years, said the news of their win is still sinking in - and despite both of them banking £7,671,450 each, after matching all six numbers, neither of them has any intentions of giving up work.

Best friends Paula Barraclough, left, and Lorraine Smith celebrate at the Lumley Castle hotel after scooping the 15million jackpot.

Lorraine, who returned to work as a cook in a care home just hours after discovering she was a multi-millionaire, said: “The news really is still sinking in.

"I thought I was hallucinating – I just thought this cannot really be happening. It was only when I got on the phone to Camelot I realised my best friend and I really were multi-millionaires!”

She described the moment she went out to buy what turned out to be the winning ticket.

She added: “I always stay at my mum’s house on a Friday night.

Paula Barraclough and Lorraine Smith celebrate with champagne after winning the 15million Lotto jackpot.

"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. The bus didn’t turn up and I really needed to get warm.

“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.

"Never did I believe the fate of the bus being late would result in my life being changed forever.”

One of the first things Lorraine intends to buy is a new frying pan.

Best friends Paula Barraclough, left, and Lorraine Smith celebrate at the Lumley Castle hotel after scooping the 15million jackpot.

She added: “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.

"I certainly won’t be giving up work – I have people who rely on me and who I need to cook for.

"This is the reason I went straight into work after discovering I had won – there is absolutely no way I would ever let these people down.”

Lorraine, who has a son, Lewis, 23, lost her husband six years ago. Top of her shopping list, after the frying pan, are new windows for her house and a car for Lewis.

Paula Barraclough and Lorraine Smith celebrate with champagne after winning the 15million Lotto jackpot.

Paula, who works in a coffee shop and lives at home with her parents, described the moment Lorraine called her to tell her they had won the jackpot.

She said: “I was in bed on Sunday morning and the phone rang at 7.15am. Lorraine never calls me that early.

"I picked up the phone and said to her: ‘You better be calling me to tell me we have won the lottery waking me up at this time!’

“And the voice on the other end of the phone replied: ‘We have! We have all six numbers!’ I just fell silent – I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.

“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.”

The friends say they have no plans to stop playing Lotto now.

Lorraine added: “We will certainly be continuing to play. We just cannot believe our luck.”

The winning ticket was bought from McColl Newsagents in Park Lane, Sunderland, and the winning numbers were 11, 13, 21, 37, 49 and 59.