Apr 20, 2004, 7:25 am
Generous Marion Richardson is giving her family £12 million (US$21.5 million) of her £17 million (US$30.5 million) Euro Millions lottery jackpot - because she reckons she won too much.
A week after she scooped the jackpot Marion, 57, left, is handing £1.5 million (US$2.7 million) each to her three sons, two daughters, two brothers and sister. Yesterday the former hard-up post worker returned to her £45,000 Gateshead home after staying away following her win.
The jobless mother vowed to spend, spend, spend after becoming Britain's biggest single ticket winner. But after returning home yesterday Marion told friends the only way she could handle her huge windfall was to spread it about.
Next door neighbour Cheryl Thompson, 31, said: "She said 'It's just too much to win'. She'd have been happy with two or three million. It's very hard to go from having nothing to becoming a multi-millionairess overnight.
"Up to now she's been staying with friends and in hotels, too afraid to come home and be by herself. Now she wants to get back to some kind of normality. Marion is such a beautiful person. She's always put her family first."
And what a way to do it. Marion is handing £1.5 million to each of her three sons, two daughters, two brothers and only sister.
She has offered ex-husband Colin, 57, who has multiple sclerosis, a new house. But all her parents have asked for is...a new carpet.
A friend said: "Marion has done what she said she'd always do if she won the lottery. She's made her family millionaires. She has a heart of gold."
Marion, who lives in a £45,000 council house at Winlaton, Gateshead, won £16,752,144 on the EuroMillions lottery competition on Good Friday - the sixth biggest UK win.
At the time, the former post worker was so hard up she had seen her bank manager in a vain attempt to extend her overdraft.
Crying with joy, she vowed to indulge her wildest dreams, including a shopping spree in Beverly Hills. But already she was thinking of giving most of the cash away.
Her brother John , a security guard in his 40s, sister Norma McBlain, a bank clerk also in her 40s, and son Colin, 34, a financial worker, have all given up their jobs.
Elder brother Peter, 50, may also contemplate early retirement.
Daughter Kaye, 25, who lives with her mum, and son Paul, 39, are considering setting-up a hairdressing business.
Youngest son Scott, 32, a record company executive, and office manager daughter Julie, 37, need never work again. Parents Norman, 81, and Marion, 78, will probably stay in their home at Gateshead, especially if it is graced by that longed for new carpet.
Marion is also planning a family reunion to celebrate her win.
A friend said: "She's going to have a party once everything has settled down. She just needs to get her head round her new life."
Meanwhile the Gateshead newsagents who sold the winning ticket are enjoying bumper sales, with one couple making a 400-mile round trip from Worksop, Notts, to buy a "lucky" game.
Co-owner Vera Singh said: "Business is booming. We're so glad for Marion. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person."
Who Gets What
Brother John . . .£1.5m
Brother Peter . . .£1.5m
Sister Norma . . .£1.5m
Daughter Kaye . . .£1.5m
Son Scott . . .£1.5m
Son Colin . . .£1.5m
Daughter Julie . . .£1.5m
Son Paul . . .£1.5m
Ex-husband Colin . . .House
Parents . . .Carpet
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