Video: Leeds jackpot winners have million of reason to celebrate

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JACKPOT winners from Leeds have millions of reasons to celebrate as the National Lottery marks its 20th birthday.

More than £1bn in top prizes has been paid out to punters in Yorkshire since its launch in 1994.

Niki Otterburn. PIC: Gerald Binks

Niki Otterburn. PIC: Gerald Binks

And lucky Leeds winner Niki Otterburn was one of them, bagging £2.2million back in 2001.

Niki is one of 20 winners selected for a special anniversary snap to mark the lottery’s 20th milestone.

Niki, 42, was working as a fitness instructor at a gym in Leeds when she landed her jackpot win.

It has allowed her to follow her passion for horse-riding, and she has since bought a stables near Thirsk with seven acres of land, where she has built an arena for her four horses, including her beloved Pippin.

Winning artist Jenny Murgatroyd presses the button to print her design at Team Impression with (left to right) Jeremy Morton, of South Leeds Life, Hunslet Club youth coordinator Donna Hill, Gary Hickey, of Team Impression, and White Rose centre director James Bailey.

Winning artist Jenny Murgatroyd presses the button to print her design at Team Impression with (left to right) Jeremy Morton, of South Leeds Life, Hunslet Club youth coordinator Donna Hill, Gary Hickey, of Team Impression, and White Rose centre director James Bailey.

She said: “I grew up with horses but after an accident when I was younger, I moved to Leeds to become a fitness instructor.

“The Lottery win has given me a second chance to follow my dream.

“I spend every day outside whatever the weather and love every minute. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Speaking about the recent photoshoot, she said: “It was amazing. For somebody like me who is normally in wellies and covered in mud, it was a bit of a culture shock!

“I don’t think the win has changed me that much as a person but obviously it changes your life in what you can afford.

“It’s a little bit easier but it’s down to my family and friends that I have had a good support system that has helped keep me grounded.”

A team of forklift truck drivers from Normanton also got lucky with the lottery back in 2008, scooping a £3.7m win in a syndicate.

The staff at M and S Toiletries at Wakefield Europort worked at the health and household distributors, which delivers toiletries and household goods to a customers throughout the UK.

Leeds grandad Joe Ashworth also won a jackpot worth £1.1m at the age of 79 in 2007.

At the time, the avid Leeds United fan said he planned to look after his family and enjoy life to the full.

Former IT manager Roger Griffiths, 37, from Wetherby and his wife Lara, former head of performing arts at Garforth Community College in Leeds, won £1.8m in 2005.

They both quit their jobs and Mrs Griffiths later spoke of how the win wrecked their marriage, while Mr Griffiths said he had been left with just £7 in the bank.

Mrs Griffiths has also spoken of how she was forced to sell her collection of designer handbags to get by.

Great-grandparents Marie and Roy Dean, of Cross Gates, also struck lucky earlier this year when they won £1m on the National Lottery EuroMillions raffle.

Mrs Dean, 75, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and husband Roy, 79, who has also had health problems, planned to stay in their rented council bungalow to be close to family and friends.

LOTTERY FACTS

The first draw took place on November 19, 1994. More than £32billion has been given to good causes and £53billion has been handed out in prize money. 3,700 ticket-holders have been made into millionaires. The most drawn ball is number 38, while 13 has made the fewest appearances.

Around 70 per cent of the UK’s adult population regularly buy a ticket or enter a sweepstake.

20 new millionaires will be created in a special draw on Saturday, a lottery spokesman said. The average winner buys 4.5 cars for themselves and immediate family. Winners take an average of 3.4 holidays a year.

Half of the jackpot winners gave up their job after becoming millionaires.

95 per cent of winners shared money with family, while 87 per cent donated to charity 
and 70 per cent handed out cash to friends.

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