A National Lottery winner whose shock was captured on camera by her partner has said the massive win still feels surreal and has yet to sink in.
Laura Hoyle and her partner Kirk Stevens landed a £10,000-a-month prize, lasting for 30 years, in a Set For Life draw during the third national lockdown in March last year.
Laura had the win confirmed as she dialled Camelot to check a string of app notifications – while Kirk filmed the call on his mobile.
A video of the call shows Laura, from Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, querying whether she is definitely okay to quit her job, adding: “I think I am going to be sick.”
Laura, aged 40, matched all five main numbers plus the Life Ball to win the top prize in the Set For Life draw on March 1 2021.
Recalling the call more than a year later, Laura said: “I was physically shaking as I told the lady: ‘I think I’ve won the lottery!’
“It was so weird saying those words! I kept thinking this must be a joke; it can’t be happening to us!
“And the ridiculous part was that, as I waited for Camelot to call me back, I still had to join work meetings online. I could hardly speak, let alone make any sense!”
After the win was confirmed but before the call had ended, Kirk had opened the first of four bottles of prosecco.
Since the win, Laura has given up work, manufacturing engineer Kirk is continuing a degree course, the couple have bought a house and the winnings have enabled them to indulge a passion for ghost-hunting.
Reflecting on the past year, Laura said: “It still hasn’t really sunk in. I say that, yet I immediately quit my job and I’m doing stuff I normally wouldn’t have been able to do. I guess it’s all still surreal.
“I am so chilled about everything now, very relaxed and that is what the win has done for me.”
Kirk commented: “I’m in my last year of my Master’s degree in mechanical engineering.
“As Laura said, the win has enabled us to relax about bills. I have used the winnings to pay for the course.”
The 38-year-old, who plans to open a business making paranormal investigation products, added: “I want to continue working and progress, which was the reason for the Masters.”
He said of his planned business venture: “I know what people want, I have the skill set and I now have the opportunity to make it work.
“Winning Set For Life has given us the best of both worlds. We are doing what we want to do and because we have this money every month, for life, we are so chilled and relaxed about things, enabling us to keep our feet firmly on the ground.”
Camelot’s Andy Carter, senior winners’ adviser at The National Lottery, said: “I’ve seen every type of emotion when delivering the big news. Tears, laughter, screaming, absolute silence and total disbelief – just like Laura’s reaction.
“Some put on their posh ‘telephone voice’, while others like Laura and Kirk are just themselves, and the beauty of their winning moment is that it was captured on camera!”