Cancer victim wins £20 million lottery jackpot

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The Independent Online

A cancer sufferer who scooped a record £20.1 million lottery win today relived the moment she hit the jackpot.

Belfast housewife Iris Jeffrey, 58, only realised she was sitting on a fortune - the biggest ever jackpot claimed by an individual - after organisers Camelot pleaded for the person holding the prize ticket to come forward and claim the prize.

She said: "I had put my old tickets in the glass cupboard at home and forgotten about them. It was not until I was at home with my husband Robert watching TV when I saw that there was an outstanding Lotto prize.

"I wrote down the numbers and checked them against my ticket. I thought that I had all six but could really not believe it (until) I asked my daughter Wendy to check for me.

"When she confirmed the win I said 'Oh, I've won, that's nice', I really don't think I realised quite what had happened."

Mrs Jeffrey has now rocketed to the top of the National Lottery rich list with a £20,100,472 rollover jackpot win for July 14, but which was only claimed yesterday.

She has already started planning how to spend the fortune with her 62-year-old retired husband.

Spoiling their daughters Wendy, 32, and 28-year-old Karen, who is expecting a baby, is their first priority, she insisted.

The newly-created multi-millionaire said: "My first wish is to make sure the family is secure and also look after my friends.

"We have family in Australia and Canada and they have already been celebrating our good fortune - the phone hasn't stopped ringing with messages of congratulations.

"The big excitement to follow our windfall has to be the eminent prospect of becoming a grandmother for the first time and my Lotto win will mean I can really and truly spoil the new arrival."

Mrs Jeffrey also plans to splash out on a brand new car for husband Robert. Even though they could now have their pick from top of the range sports cars, the couple are debating between a more humble Renault Clio or Volkswagen Golf.

The first real treat for the winner herself could be a brand new washing machine, she revealed.

The couple are also planning a holiday to their dream location of Las Vegas.