UK Lotto winners reveal plans to visit NZ

Lisa Cannings (right) and her retired teacher husband Gerry (Left) went public about their Lotto rollover win today. Photo: Screengrab from Daily Mail video.
Lisa Cannings (right) and her retired teacher husband Gerry (Left) went public about their Lotto rollover win today. Photo: Screengrab from Daily Mail video.

A UK couple - who are also Lord of the Rings fans - just won a record £32.5million ($67 million) in the national lottery and now plan to fulfil a lifelong dream of visiting New Zealand.

Lisa Cannings, 48, and her retired teacher husband Gerry, 63, went public about their Lotto rollover win today and revealed that they only bought the winning ticket because of a chance takeaway visit, the Daily Mail reported.

The couple, who fell in love over meetings at a school photocopier, were visiting Mr Cannings' 96-year-old father when they opted to go to a fish and chip shop rather than cook on a Saturday night.

But despite later learning they had won the second biggest prize in Lotto's history, the pair chose not to claim their prize for a week - because they had a painter in redecorating their £220,000 home.

Instead, Mr Cannings spent a nerve-wracking few days walking around with the ticket in his pocket.

"It's just the way we are - we don't really worry about things or make a drama," Mr Cannings said.

"You could say we're a bit boring like that."

Top of the list is New Zealand as the family are keen Lord of the Rings fans and would love to visit the country where it was filmed, the Daily Mail reported.

"We can go where we want and travel first class, too," he said. "After looking after the family, what this money brings is a chance to enjoy new experiences and see places we thought we wouldn't get to see."

Mr Cannings, a retired school teacher, is now on the lookout for a larger home big enough to sleep all the family at Christmas. The keen golfer is also after a car wide enough to fit his golf clubs in and the couple plan to go travelling.

Mrs Cannings, who admitted calling in sick until today, revealed she now plans to take early retirement from her job at Hampton College, Peterborough, where she teaches Spanish.

She said: "I was feeling pretty sick so it didn't feel like a lie at all. It would be brilliant not having to come home and mark books."

The couple decided to go public with their win after claiming they wouldn't be able to deal with the "pressure" of keeping it quiet.

Mr Cannings, who lives with his wife in Deeping St James, near Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, said: "The pressure was keeping it secret for a week but we have told one or two friends now. Now you know, it is news for a week."

His wife, who wore a white flowery top and dark red trousers as she and her husband were unveiled to the public, added: "It would just be impossible to explain if we bought a bigger house. Everybody around us would know we haven't got the money for that ... This way I get to have my own makeup done and look like a film star."

Just before going public, the Spanish teacher sent her neighbour a text which read: "Won the lottery! Catch us on the news! OMG!" just minutes before breaking to the world how she and her husband had won £32.5million.

Neighbour Rebecca Card, 31, said she couldn't believe it.

"I don't know how they kept it so quiet. They've been round my house dropping the dogs off and chatting and they never let on. He's absolutely golfing mad. The first thing he'll probably do is go and buy some high-tech golf clubs."

Their Lotto jackpot ticket was bought from the Drunken Fish shop in Datchet and the winning numbers were 15, 16, 23, 39, 48 and 59.

The couple's win places them second in the UK Lotto rich list, just behind last month's biggest Lotto winners, David and Carol Martin, and one other anonymous ticket holder, who both won a £33,035,323 jackpot prize each in the draw on January 9.

- NZ Herald

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