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Barnsley dinner lady kept £1m lottery win secret from sons

A dinner lady who scooped £1m on the lottery kept the windfall secret for five weeks.

Paula and Geoff Williamson kept the £1m win a secret until their son Jack (right) was back from holiday in Australia
Paula and Geoff Williamson kept the £1m win a secret until their son Jack (right) was back from holiday in Australia

Paula Williamson wanted to keep the win under wraps until her son Jack was back from holiday in Australia.

Mrs Williamson told her husband Geoff about the “life-changing” news, but did not inform their other son Ian.

They plan to buy a new three-piece suite, as well as houses for their sons, who work as a bus driver and a ground worker and still live at home.

Mr and Mrs Williamson said they wanted to “be together as a family to share the celebratory moment”.

“It was tough being in the same house as Ian and keeping it from him but we did it,” Mrs Williamson said.

“We just tried to keep ourselves as occupied as possible. Celebrating the winning moment is something we wanted to ensure we would remember forever.”

The couple, who have five grandchildren, now plan to “treat the family” with the winnings.

However, Mrs Williamson said she had “no plans” to retire from her job at The Hill Primary Academy in Thurnscoe, where she has been a dinner lady for the past 20 years.

Camelot, which runs the National Lottery, said Mrs Williamson won the prize on UK Millionaire Maker.

She bought the winning ticket from Morrisons in Cortonwood and had it in her purse for more than a week before she realised.

“The shop assistant said I had won more than £500 so she couldn’t pay out,” Mrs Williamson said.

“I was really excited and thought I had probably won around £550, a nice deposit for the new three-piece suite I had been dreaming about buying.”

Mr Williamson also said he would like some of the cash spent on a new Skoda car.

“This win takes away any money worries and gives us so many options and opportunities,” Mrs Williamson said. BBC News