£9m Lotto Winner Flushed
21 May 2006
A PENSIONER who scooped £9.3m on the Lottery more than two years ago is still holding down a £5-an-hour job cleaning her local toilets.
Despite striking it rich in January 2004, Mary Jones was determined not to let her mega windfall change her by continuing to scrub toilets part-time at an education centre in Bala, Wales.
And when the cash-strapped centre - which runs adventure sports courses for deprived youngsters - was threatened with closure last year the big-hearted 64-year-old forked out £250,000 of her winnings to save it.
Jim Kerevan, who chaired the trust which once ran the centre, where Mary's 35-year-old daughter Margaret is head chef, said last night: "It is typical of her. Mary is a wonderful lady who cares about her community.
"It's remarkable. She has millions in the bank, yet she still gets down on her hands and knees and scrubs and cleans the centre every day.
"She is still doing the same job there that she was doing before she won - and seems to be extremely happy doing it.
"Winning the Lottery has not changed her one bit."
Indeed, until now Mary's biggest luxury has been to trade in, albeit reluctantly, her battered old Volvo for something newer - a five-year-old model.
She also recently parted with an estimated £120,000 for the ramshackle bungalow opposite the terrace home where she and husband Robert, a retired forestry worker, have lived for years.
And, last night, Mary was likely to have been seen spending another evening in the glass-fronted kiosk at Bala's cinema, selling tickets - her other part-time job.
According to villagers it was her refusal to flash her lolly like "a Premiership footballer's wife" that earned her all their respect.
"She has bought her children new cars but nothing flashy - a Mini for her daughter and ordinary family cars for her three sons," said one resident who did not wish to be named.
"Even the Volvo she bought for herself was a standard four-door - same make, same model as her last one - it wasn't even brand new."
For Mary though, life will continue to go on as normal - rising at 7am to make breakfast before driving to work and putting on the Marigolds again.
Just days after her win, she said: "I know it's a lot of money, but I won't be going mad."
It seems she's a woman of her word.