Camelot, plagued by a rash of winners variously accused of being untrustworthy, unreliable, and unfaithful, breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when it emerged that a Hull factory worker and his family had won Saturday's Lottery jackpot of pounds 22,088,388.
Terry Benson, 61, and his wife Brenda, 56, will take half the money, with the rest divided equally between their children - Heather Kemp, 36, Tracey Foley, 30, Keith, 34, and Nicola, 21. Their win is the second- biggest since the Lottery started, smaller only than the pounds 22m shared by Mark Gardiner - branded a rat by the tabloids - and Paul Maddison, who ran a double-glazing business in Hastings.
Terry Benson said he picked the numbers for the family syndicate from the side of cranes in his factory and realised he might have won only when he saw them come up on a television at his servicemen's club. "I thought I'd got five of the numbers but I didn't say anything to the wife because I didn't want to raise her hopes. I had to sit there from ten past eight until 11.15pm, when I got home and I could check.
"I looked and thought: `God, it's right!' I came down and said to the wife: `I've got some news for you, I think we've won on the Lottery." The couple phoned their children and their husbands and wives and told them to come over.
John Kemp, a chemical engineer, said the family celebrated late into the night. "We just had a celebratory glass of whisky and the girls had a cup of coffee and we sat talking until four in the morning."
Mrs Benson, a housewife, said: "I don't think of it as an amount yet, I just think of it as an awful lot of money." Mr Benson senior intends to leave the foundry job where he earned pounds 200 a week, and the couple plan to buy a racehorse, move from their former council house to a bungalow, and holiday in Rome.
Their son Keith, who works in an abattoir and lives with his wife Sue and two children in Hessle, near Hull, will also give up work to pursue his hobbies: dogs, pigeons and rugby league.
Nicola Benson, who has just finished her English degree, still wants to become a teacher and plans to spend some of her winnings on travel.
Tracey Foley and her husband John, an engineer, who live in Chester with their two young children, were thrilled they no longer need worry about their house near Warrington, which they had been trying to sell for three years. The family insisted that the money would not change their lifestyles: although Mr Benson will no longer have to work long hours at the factory, nor his son at the abattoir, they were determined, they said, to keep their feet on the ground and their offspring at state schools.Reuse content