Grandmother keeps £1m lottery win secret so she can celebrate with whole family

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Paula Williamson, husband Geoff and sons Jack (left) and Ian (right) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)
Paula Williamson, husband Geoff and sons Jack (left) and Ian (right) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)

A dinner lady who scooped £1million on the lottery has today revealed how she kept the win a secret from her family for five weeks – and plans to return to work despite the life-changing jackpot.

Paula Williamson bought the winning EuroMillions ticket from Morrisons and walked around with it in her purse for more than a week before realising it was worth a million pounds.

The 59-year-old told her husband Geoff, 68, but the couple chose not to tell their sons Ian and Jack, who live with their parents at home in Yorkshire.

Mrs Williamson wanted to wait until Jack returned from a trip to Australia before she told him and his brother the news.

She said: “There is no way we could have celebrated without our two sons being with us.

Paula Williamson and husband Geoff during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)
Paula Williamson and husband Geoff during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)
Paula Williamson, husband Geoff and sons Jack (right) and Ian (left) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)
Paula Williamson, husband Geoff and sons Jack (right) and Ian (left) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)

“I did tell Geoff because that would have been so hard to keep the winning news from him, but we both decided we wanted to tell Jack and Ian at the same time.

“It was tough being in the same house as Ian and keeping it from him but we did it. We just tried to keep ourselves as occupied as possible. I let it go over my head and forgot about it. We didn’t speak about it much.

‘Celebrating the winning moment is something we wanted to ensure we would remember forever.”

Jack, 26, only found out about the fortune this morning when he walked into a hotel to find his mother drinking champagne and brandishing a giant cheque for £1million.

Paula Williamson, and sons Jack (left) and Ian (right) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)
Paula Williamson, and sons Jack (left) and Ian (right) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)
Paula Williamson, husband Geoff and sons Jack (right) and Ian (left) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)
Paula Williamson, husband Geoff and sons Jack (right) and Ian (left) during a press conference at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Pontefract, April 9, 2019. (SWNS)

The family now plan to treat themselves to a mini-break to Spain and a new three-piece suite.

The brothers thought they were attending a presentation for their mother at the Wentbridge House Hotel today to mark 20 years of service at a local school – but were greeted by Camelot staff.

Mrs Williamson said she kept the news a secret for five weeks so they could all be together as a family and share the celebratory moment.

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The couple, who have five grandchildren between the ages of two and 13, currently live in a three-bed semi which retired lorry driver Mr Williamson has been in since 1980.

She now plans to buy a house each for Jack, a bus driver and father-of-two and Ian, 24, a ground worker and father-of-one, because they both still live at home and she wants to ‘get rid of them’.

Mrs Williamson usually buys a EuroMillions lucky dip ticket once a week while shopping in the supermarket with her husband of 23 years Geoff.

She bought her winning EuroMillions ticket from Morrisons in Dearne Valley Parkway, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and scooped the win from the special EuroMillions draw on March 1.

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