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Ex-miners Share 11.5m Lotto Win
01 Aug 2006

Two former miners will share an 11.5m windfall after hitting a double rollover on the lottery.

John Stinchcombe, 59 and John Ackerman, 63, from Crumlin, near Newbridge, south Wales, initially thought they had won 50 in last Wednesday's draw.

Mr Ackerman's wife Pearl said she would not change her lifestyle - and splashed out on a new pair of shoes costing 5.

The win by the pair, who have been friends for 40 years, is the second biggest recorded on the Lotto in Wales.

In May 2005, Sandra Fosbrooke and Ken Henry, from Llanelli, scooped 12.8m.

Mr Ackerman bought the ticket in Woolworth's in Blackwood after being persuaded to do so by his wife.

"We don't usually play on a Wednesday but Pearl nagged me to get a ticket because she'd heard on the radio that it was a big rollover - I'm glad she did now!"

Mr Stinchcombe, who has a partner Julie, added: "I've led a very happy life without much money and have never really dreamed of winning the lottery. It's just unbelievable we have won."

The two couples lived next to each other in the same street until the Stinchcombes moved nearby 10 days before the win.

The two men worked at the Celynen pits in Crumlin before retiring.

Mrs Ackerman said that she would not be moving house or giving up her job as a domestic assistant in a local nursing home

She said: "This is the house we worked for years to pay for. I'm not going to leave it now. We've worked very hard to get it just how we want it and we're very happy here.

"I also love my job, and have already been back since the win - everyone there is really pleased for us and all the residents have been giving me their congratulations."

Mr Ackerman said he had checked the numbers on teletext the day after the draw.

"I knew I had 7, 17, and 27 and I thought I had a few more on different lines.

"When I looked at it I thought it was about 50 so I went to the local Woolworth's and they said they couldn't pay it because it was over the limit.

"They told me to go to the Post Office they said, you've got a substantial win, so I went to my sister's and telephoned from there.

"I thought I'd won 50,000 but when they turned round they said it was 11m, I said, 'I don't believe you'."

Rumour

He described how the two men had gone to Crumlin rugby club, of which they are both members, to hear rumours of a lottery win circulating.

"We went out and people were chinwagging. Arthur Lewis, who used to play for Wales, came into Crumlin RFC and he said there was a rumour going round saying there were two winners.

"We just sat there drinking our pints. Arthur Lewis said he wished they were members of the club and we carried on drinking our pints without saying a word."

Mrs Ackerman admitted she was finding it hard to change her spending habits.

"I wanted a pair of silver shoes. There was a big sale and I went in and picked up some shoes and they were 50," she told reporters.

"I would never pay 50 for a pair of shoes so we walked down the street to another shop and I saw a pair of shoes for a fiver and I got them, even though I knew we had all this money."

The two men, who have two children each and six grandchildren between them, said winning the money would never alter their friendship.

The most recent people to become Lotto millionaires in Wales prior to the ex-miners were McDonald's workers Emma Cox and Luke Pittard, who won 1.3m.

Associated Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/5233994.stm
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