A couple who won £1 million on the lottery last year have gotten engaged in Paris and have started to plan their dream wedding.
Ben Lowther, 39, and 30-year-old Holly Saul, from Cambridge, had thought they would not be able to tie the knot until their children, aged 14 and three, were much older.
But that changed when Miss Saul checked her National Lottery EuroMillions ticket in October 2021 and saw she had won.
They have since bought a new house, Miss Saul is taking a break from her job in clinical research recruitment to spend more time with their children, and they have treated the family to a holiday.
And in May of this year, games developer Mr Lowther proposed to Miss Saul.
Mr Lowther said: “Holly and I have been together for nine years and always planned to marry one day but with two children and the cost of living, a wedding was looking like something we would celebrate much further down the line.
“Now, thanks to one chunky dose of luck, I have been able to propose – in Paris no less! – and we can start to plan the perfect wedding, and our family can all gather for another celebration.”
Miss Saul said: “Not a day has gone by that we haven’t counted our blessings.
“That day we just stared at each other giggling and still, a year later, we do the same.
“I occasionally watch the film Ben took of me claiming the win and it feels as amazing now as it did then.
“We’re just so lucky, and now, standing in our new home, I still have to pinch myself!”
She said she played EuroMillions after her father-in-law posted on the family Whatsapp group, “big draw tonight, don’t forget your tickets”.
“Ben had quipped he wasn’t gullible enough to play, but I thought ‘why not’ and had bought a couple of tickets online on the National Lottery website,” said Miss Saul.
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I did!”
She said that they hope to hold traditional family gatherings at Christmas in their new home.
“My aunt, who sadly passed away far too young, was the only person who had enough space to host a big Christmas gathering for the whole family with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all celebrating together,” said Miss Saul.
“I like to think I can now rekindle her traditional gathering at future Christmas’.
“She will be smiling down on us – I just hope I do her proud with the catering!”
She added that the win allowed her to spend more time with her children.
“I have worked full time since I was 16, only having time off for maternity leave, and while I do enjoy working and am proud of my career, I’m so humbled that I can put that on pause for a couple of years and spend more time with the children,” said Miss Saul.
“Like so many mums I was chasing my tail and I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to take some time out to be a little more present in their lives.”
Mr Lowther, who has continued working, said: “Before that winning day, Holly and I were home working in our tiny kitchen with two children in and out, desperately trying to stay on top of everything and juggling the finances.
“Now I have a job I really enjoy, and I work in the comfort of my own home office, tucked away from the noise of family life, but close enough that my ‘commute’ back to my family is a flight of stairs!”