Couple who won lottery £32m still live in the same house - and drive the same Skoda

Lottery winners really haven’t let the win change them - and they may be onto something

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Lottery winners

Gerry and Lisa Cannings won an incredible £32 million on the National Lottery on Valentines Day this year, but they haven't let the money change them. In fact, they still live in the same house, and drive the same Skoda as they did before the windfall. It seems incredible, but it may be the secret to happiness after a lottery win.

Gerry (63) and Lisa (48), from Deeping St James in Lincolnshire, showed early signs that the win wouldn't whip them up in a whirlwind of spending. The pair may have won the second largest jackpot in the competition's history, but they still waited a week to pick up the giant cheque - because they had a decorator in, and they hadn't wanted to upset their plans.

They said during the initial press conference that they were just a normal couple, who liked doing normal things. And a subsequent report in the Daily Mail a fortnight later revealed the couple were still doing the weekly supermarket shop in their old Skoda Octavia.

A new report in the Daily Mirror quoted a neighbour who said the pair had only been on one holiday since the win - and they'd booked that one before they won the money.

They are expecting to move to a larger property eventually, as they told the press that they would be trading up their £220,000 home so Gerry's sons can visit - along with the five grandchildren. But the couple aren't in any rush, and have decided to wait a year.

Not changed

We're more used to tales of lottery excess, but a measured and modest approach is actually more common than you may think.

A study by Camelot and Oxford Economics in 2012, for example found that one in five winners continue working. In 2014 Jean Swatman, a grandmother from Lowestoft in Suffolk, won £2 million on the National Lottery, but didn't want to give up her job making doughnuts for Morrisons. She worked on for another eight months before finally deciding it was time to retire.

One in five also continue living in their old house. Last year Peter Congdon, a 67-year-old grandfather from Truro in Cornwall, won £13.5 million on the lottery. He quickly bought a new home. However, the one he chose to buy was the council property he was living in - worth around £150,000. He did splash out on a Range Rover, a farmhouse for his daughter, and cars for other relatives, but said he was perfectly happy with where he lived and had no reason to move.

The lottery advisers say this sort of approach is very sensible. They suggest that you shouldn't make any decisions too quickly. Those who move house too fast, for example, can quickly lose touch with friends and neighbours and lose their support network. People who quit their job may struggle to find a meaningful way to spend their time, and those who go on a spending spree may not have had the time to calculate what they want to achieve with the money - and how long they expect it to last.

They suggest that it's worth letting things settle down, and perhaps taking a holiday, so winners can work out what the money will mean for them over the long-term. They can then gradually make any changes in their life without risking serious mistakes.

Gerry and Lisa, therefore, may not appear to have the most glamorous of lottery lifestyles - but there's a good chance they will still be happy years down the line - even if they are still driving the same Skoda.

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