A 26-year-old mother is celebrating after winning £1 million on a scratchcard she purchased on her break while working at a care home.
Sara Thomas, from Treharris in south Wales, had visited a local shop during her break as a care home assistant and picked up a National Lottery scratchcard at the till.
She said: “I don’t buy them often but I did get one a few weeks ago as a treat and my partner Sean jokingly said to me, ‘don’t buy them, you won’t win anything’.
“I scratched it at work and revealed that I had won £1 million – I was gobsmacked. I called the girls I work with and they thought I was joking.”
Ms Thomas said none of her colleagues believed her, and she herself did not quite believe her good luck.
She added: “I asked one of my colleagues to call The National Lottery for me with the phone on speaker as I thought it was a prank and I didn’t want to embarrass myself.
“When Camelot confirmed the win we were all screaming. I could not believe it, it still hasn’t sunk in.”
Shocked at the news, Ms Thomas called her partner Sean Warner, 28, before calling her father, with neither one believing her at first.
“They both said I should leave work for the day but we were short-staffed and I didn’t want to let the girls down so I stayed until 7pm. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur,” she added.
Ms Thomas has worked at a care home while home-schooling her daughter, five, during the pandemic and looking after her three-year-old son.
But despite her winnings, she has no plans to give up work any time soon.
She said: “I love my job and want to continue working. The patients appreciate you being there for them when they can’t see their family and it’s just really comforting knowing that you are putting a smile on their faces.
“We have great banter. It’s nice to know you are helping someone and making a difference. It has been tough, but I wouldn’t change it.”
Ms Thomas continued, “I would like to start my own business one day. I am a fully qualified hairdresser and I also did a degree in business but fell pregnant with my daughter so I wasn’t able to finish studying.
“This win has opened the doors to lots of new opportunities for me and my family. It is my children’s future set and they can have the best life they can.”
The couple plan on buying a family home with a big garden for their two children and taking the family on holiday when possible.
Ms Thomas also plans to pass her driving test, adding: “I will buy myself a nice Jeep when I pass but I will probably drive Sean’s car for a while first, just in case my luck runs out and I ruin the car as soon as I buy it.”
The 26-year-old is one of several millionaires created by the National Lottery over Easter weekend.
On Good Friday, a £122 million EuroMillions jackpot, which has now been claimed, was won by a single UK ticket-holder.
Ms Thomas bought her winning 50X Scratchcard at the Londis store on Williams Terrace in Treharris.