A school dinner lady says she had to ‘keep mum’ about hitting the lottery jackpot for more than a month in order to surprise her son when he returned from holiday.
Paula Williamson kept her life-changing £1 million win quiet for five weeks until 26-year-old son Jack touched down from Australia.
With only her husband, Geoff, in on the secret, they even kept from their other son, 24-year-old Ian.
Both Ian, a ground worker, and Jack, a bus driver, still live at home.
Announcing their new-found fortune at Wentbridge House Hotel near Ackworth this week with their sons beside them, 59-year-old Paula said: “There is no way we could have celebrated without our two sons being with us. I did tell Geoff because that would have been so hard to keep the winning news from him, but we both decided we wanted to tell Jack and Ian at the same time.
“It was tough being in the same house as Ian and keeping it from him but we did it.”
Paula, who works at The Hill Academy in South Yorkshire, said she had bought the lucky-dip EuroMillions ticket at Morrisons but had no idea that she had won for about a week.
It was not until she went to the supermarket and handed it to the assistant to check if it had won anything did it start becoming clear.
She said: “When I got to the till to check my ticket, the machine made a noise and the shop assistant said I had won more than £500 so she couldn’t pay out.
“I was really excited and thought I had probably won around £550. That would be a nice deposit for the new three-piece suite I had been dreaming about buying.
“I immediately rushed home and called Camelot. The lady on the phone said ‘are you sitting down? You have won £1 million’.
“I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t.
“The news really is still sinking in. I keep having to pinch myself and tell myself that I really am a millionaire.”
Paula says she has no desire to step down from her lunchtime duties at the school, but does intend to treat the family, including their five grandchildren.
They want to buy sons Ian and Jack a house each.
The new three-piece suite will soon be ordered while retired lorry driver, Geoff, is weighing up the prospect of buying himself a new Skoda Octavia.
Paula added: “We are not going to rush into anything, we are just going to take time to think.
“The win takes away any money worries and gives us so many options and opportunities.”
The family, who holidayed in Benidorm last year, have not yet celebrated the new-found fortune but may take a mini-break in Spain.