Dec 9, 2004, 8:30 am
A retired school cook has scooped a £721,000 (US$1.4 million) lottery jackpot in the UK National Lottery.
Eluned May Jones, 67, of Minffordd, near Penrhyndeudraeth, was one of four who shared Wednesday's £2.8m (US$5.4 million) top prize last week.
The former assistant cook at Ysgol Cefn Coch has been trying for a decade, winning no more than the occasional £10 (US$19.22).
Eluned, who runs a bed and breakfast with husband Ben, has stuck to the same numbers from the start.
In recent years she has added new lines, spending £10 on five lines a week for Wednesday and Saturday's big money draws.
"I have had so much faith in the lottery, I kept convincing myself that one day lady luck would not let me down," she said.
Eluned and Ben, 72, a retired Manweb employee, were joined by their daughter Nia and son-in-law, John
Jones, for the journey to Liverpool yesterday, collecting the Camelot cheque at the city's Olympic Hotel.
Eluned was not aware of her win until Friday evening, after she and Ben returned from a family funeral in Nelson, South Wales.
"I had the winning ticket in my handbag all along and I did not like to trouble relatives in Nelson to check Wednesday's numbers, so I waited until we got back home on Friday evening," she said.
"I just could not believe my eyes when all my six numbers - 7,18, 27, 31, 36, and 49 - came up on the television screen.
"I rushed next door to my daughter and son-in-law's house to do a double check and, yes, they confirmed that I did have a winning line!
"Both Ben and myself were so excited neither of us slept a wink that night, and to be quite honest we've had trouble sleeping each night ever since.
"We still can't believe we've won so much money.
"We've realised our main task is to decide what to do with it, because it's a lot of money for an ordinary couple who have had to work hard all our lives to earn a decent living."
The couple, who own their bungalow, have already decided some of the money will go to their daughter and son-in-law and their three children, Einir, 17, Carol, 15, and Dyfan, 12.
"We've told them already that we will be giving them something, but we have not yet decided how much," said Eluned.
"We want to get over the business of putting the money in the bank first.
"We may buy something special for the house and Ben is planning to buy a more comfortable car as he is still suffering the after-effects of two hip replacements."
Eluned was back at the Spar store in Porthmadog on Tuesday spending her usual £10 hoping to scoop another big win.
The only celebration so far has been a family evening out on Sunday night and a special hair-do for yesterday's presentation in Liverpool.
And the couple have made one firm decision - to take down the bed and breakfast sign outside their bungalow.
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