A school dinner lady who won £1 million on the lottery says she has “absolutely no plans” to give up her job, and hopes to take her teenage son on his first ever holiday when it is safe to do so.
Karen Dakin, 53, of Ipswich, matched five main numbers and the bonus ball in the Lotto draw on March 13 and celebrated into the early hours of Mother’s Day.
“It was a usual Saturday evening, relaxing and sat in front of the TV with a drink or two, but as I watched the draw results live on TV I immediately knew they were my numbers,” she said.
“I’ve always picked numbers special to me, including my son Callum’s date of birth – the year and the time – so I instantly recognised the winning numbers.
“What an amazing turn of events – my son has, in some strange way, helped give me the most amazing Mother’s Day gift of all time!”
The news followed a tough time for the family, with her 60-year-old husband Jeff recovering from a stroke in November 2018.
The couple plan to buy a house and to take their son Callum, who is coming up to 15 years old, on his first holiday.
“We’ve never been able to afford a holiday before and Callum has never actually been on one,” said Mrs Dakin, who has worked at her local school throughout the pandemic.
“After the time we’ve all been through we’d love to get away – maybe Centre Parcs, before a big trip to Disneyworld Florida.”
She said that her husband had made a good recovery after his “serious stroke”.
“That has a lot to do with the fact that he was at work at the time – he has been an NHS storeman at Ipswich Hospital since 2001 – so was in surgery within a matter of minutes of the stroke happening,” said Mrs Dakin.
“Jeff was in hospital for a month and, of course, I was there by his side every day whilst also working hard and trying to keep strong for Callum.
“All of my family were amazing, as was the school where I work during the toughest of years, and I am looking forward to celebrating with all of them as soon as it is safe to do so.
“Jeff’s recovery has been amazing, although his speech and memory are still affected, and he returned to work to be part of the amazing national effort during the pandemic.
“He plans to stay working for a while yet, but I have absolutely no plans to give up being a dinner lady – I love my job, the school and all the kids.”
The pair, who have been married for 35 years, have already started looking at properties to buy.
“We’ve lived in the area for over 18 years but we’ve not been able to afford to buy before, and have been renting,” said Mrs Dakin.
“This win changes all that, and we’re looking for our perfect three-bedroom detached property to move into as soon as we can.
“We love the area so will stay local, but it’ll mean so much – more space for us all and the peace of mind of having no mortgage.
The couple also plan to make sure Callum’s future is secure and will look to treat their wider family, while Mr Dakin has his eye on a possible season ticket to watch his beloved Spurs.
Mrs Dakin said: “After the last few years, this life-changing win means absolutely everything.
“The future looks brighter and we couldn’t be happier.
“I’ll never have a better Mother’s Day, that’s for sure!”
Her husband added: “After the last few years, no-one is more deserving of this win than my amazing wife, Karen.
“She deserves this and I am so thankful for everything she has done.”
Mrs Dakin’s winning Lotto ticket was bought from Tesco Extra on Anson Road in Martlesham Heath, Ipswich.
The winning Lotto numbers for the draw on Saturday March 13 were 6, 8, 11, 17, 29, 44 and the bonus ball was 20.