Lottery sailors back on dry land after scooping £6m jackpot

The couple had only made it as far as Newcastle marina when they discovered they had scooped Wednesday's £6,123,395 jackpot

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A retired couple have abandoned their 10-week dream sailing trip around Britain after discovering their numbers had come up on the Lottery.

The couple had only made it as far as Newcastle marina when they discovered they had scooped Wednesday's £6,123,395 jackpot.

Richard and Cathy Brown, who are both retired journalists aged 66 and 64, from Ipswich, decided to cut short their trip after just six days when the numbers they had been using for 19 years came up.

They turned their 40ft yacht, named Brave, around and sailed home to claim their prize.

Speaking at a press conference at the Haven Marina, Ipswich, the couple, who have been together for 39 years, said they celebrated by using their pensioners' bus passes to travel into Newcastle for a gin and tonic.

Mr Brown said: "We stashed the ticket in the locker under the chart table on board and figured it would be safe there for the journey back - there aren't many pirates in the North Sea.

"We certainly won't be going crazy but we will look to do something good with the money."

Mr Brown is a former deputy editor of the Suffolk-based East Anglian Daily Times where Mrs Brown also worked as a feature writer before moving to a post as editor of Let's Talk magazine in Norfolk.

Top of their shopping list is a £350,000 replacement for their existing Grand Soleil yacht and they are considering a top-of-the-range German Dehler.

Mr Brown hopes to buy himself a Porsche but Mrs Brown said she is happy to keep her three-year-old Volkswagen Passat Estate.

They downsized their home in 2005 to buy their yacht and may now look to move back to the countryside to a new property.

They have no children but plan to share some of their good fortune with their family.

Mrs Brown said: "This is more money than we could spend in a lifetime and we will have fun sharing our good luck with family and good causes.

"Our nieces and nephews have children or are expecting so we will look at ways we can help them.

"But we will ask them what they need and how we can help first - we don't just want to wade in and dictate to them."

The couple have been playing the same numbers - 3, 5, 25, 33, 34 and 35 - since 1994 and play twice a week.

They will now abandon their planned 10-week voyage, which began on May 25, but may consider more exotic locations in future.

"I'm not a big fan of long-distance sailing so we won't do an around-the-world trip," Mr Brown said.

"But we may sail to Brittany for a bit of sun after the rain-drenched start to our journey.

"Other than that, we would like to visit Canada to see the Northern Lights and Rome for the ruins."

Mr Brown made the discovery after using the National Lottery app on his phone.

"Cathy was looking over my shoulder and we both realised we had four, then five and then six of the numbers.

"I turned to my wife and said 'You're a millionaire'.

"She keeps telling me I'm too calm about it all and should be more excited."

Mrs Brown added: "We have been sailing together for more than 30 years but I can honestly say I've never felt anything on the water like it's been for the last couple of days."