Avalanche survivor in £8 million Lottery win

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The Independent Online

A Kent man who survived an avalanche in which four of his friends died was celebrating a change in fortunes after his family won almost £8 million on the Lottery.

Stephen Newton, 34, was one of three survivors who spent 15 hours trapped under 3ft of snow before being rescued in December 1998 near Ben Nevis in Scotland.

On Tuesday his family celebrated winning a £7,985,672 Lotto jackpot, which will be split equally between Stephen, his parents Ted, 69, and Marilyn, 65, and siblings Darren, 39, and Sarah, 36.

The family members, who have pledged £3,000 to mountain rescue services, won the jackpot on a Lucky Dip ticket. Normally they buy their syndicate tickets for only the Saturday draw but Ted, from Dartford, decided to give the midweek draw a go after noticing it was a Lotto Rollover last Wednesday.

Retired foreman Ted, who toasted their good fortune at the Hilton Dartford Bridge Hotel, said: "I was going to the shops because we wanted some bread to eat.

"There's a little bakery there and I was also passing a Costcutter. I saw somewhere it was a rollover so I bought five Lucky Dip tickets. I didn't think about it after that, I put them in my pocket and forgot about it.

"On Thursday morning, I was sitting down, Marilyn was in the kitchen preparing something. I thought I should check those numbers. When I checked them, I saw we had got all the numbers but not the last one, the bonus. I thought we'd probably won a few bob."

Marilyn added: "I said 'we don't need the bonus'. I didn't really think it was true, I thought there has to be some catch. I couldn't believe that we had won that amount of money."

Stephen, a builder, who has two children, George, three, and Rosie, nine months, said: "We had forgotten he had been doing it."

The family's winning numbers were 10, 16, 21, 22, 35, and 49. The bonus ball was 31.