A kindhearted couple who scooped £100,000 (Over $126,000) on the Euromillions are now planning to spend their winnings on fostering children.
Kathleen Reece, 41, and her husband Mark, 42, landed the life-changing prize after matching five numbers and one lucky star in the lottery draw on August 18.
The couple will now convert their garage into extra bedrooms so they can begin their fostering journey – a dream they’ve always had even before having kids of their own.
Mum-of-three Kathleen admits she often moaned at her husband for playing the Euromillions each week believing they would never win.
And she thought Mark was playing a practical joke on her when he asked her to check the winning ticket while he went to the shops to get some milk.
It was only when she phoned Camelot that the teaching assistant realized they had won a whopping £100,770.
But rather than popping a bottle of champagne, the couple celebrated with a “strong coffee” as Karleen is teetotal.
The couple, from Stourport-on-Severn, Worcs., say they will now treat their three kids first before starting the fostering process.
Karleen said, “I’ve always wanted to foster children. Mark and I discussed it many years ago and then we had our own.
“My three kids will be leaving home soon and I have too much love to give. I’ve always wanted to foster but never had the right circumstances.
“The win will allow me to do this.”
Kathleen revealed she hasn’t always been supportive about her husband buying EuroMillions tickets – up until almost two weeks ago.
She added: “Every Friday Mark comes home from work with a EuroMillions ticket, and I always moan at him.
“We’ve won a few pounds over the years, but I’ve never seen myself as a lucky person.
“On the Friday of the win, Mark didn’t give me the tickets as usual because he was out that night and kept them in his wallet.
“We were out on the Saturday night too, so it was only on Sunday morning that I checked the tickets.
“Mark popped out for some milk and asked me to check the ticket. I scanned the first one and nothing. Then I scanned the second and it asked me to claim.
“I showed it to my daughter. I said it was a practical joke but she’s a maths teacher so was easily able to check the amount and check the numbers online.
“We called out the winning numbers to each other and the amount from the website.
“As the realization of what this meant hit us we sat there in disbelief; we were winners.”
“I decided to call the number on the back of the ticket and was talking to a lady from The National Lottery when Mark came home with the milk.
“I told him to shush as I was on the phone to The National Lottery. His jaw dropped.
“He looked at me in disbelief so I put the phone on speaker and the lady confirmed she was from The National Lottery, and we’d won £100,770.14”
Karleen, Mark and their daughter and two sons said they all sat in the kitchen staring at each other before hiding the winning ticket in Mark’s passport for safekeeping.
Karleen said: “I then called my sister who was at my mum and dad’s.
“She came around straight away and we all just started to think about what had just happened. The day is a bit of a blur to be honest.”
The couple are currently having an extension built to their house but couldn’t afford to renovate the garage into bedrooms so they could foster children.
They are going to give their children some money and then apply for planning permission for a garage conversion to then apply to become foster parents.
Karleen said: “We’ve always wanted to become foster parents however having enough space has always been an issue.
“Thanks to the win it’ll no longer be a problem. I’m so happy we can finally fulfil our dream. “
Kathleen said the win was a brilliant way to finish a challenging school summer holiday after her sister had to abandon her wedding in Rhodes due to the forest fires.
After two years of planning, the family only spent one day on the Mediterranean island before flying home.
Karleen said, “It’s been a tough few weeks and so the win has given us some sunshine after being in a very dark place.
“I will help her start planning her special day and the win will help that journey.”
The couple will continue in their jobs; Mark works at Wyre Forest Council as a site officer for their recycling vehicles depot and Karleen is a full-time teaching assistant.
Mark is a regular National Lottery player and bought the winning EuroMillions ticket at the Tesco Express, in Kidderminster, Worcs.
Mark always has a Lucky Dip and the couple were one of three UK winners that week.
The winning numbers from that draw were 23, 25, 30, 44, 47 and the Lucky Stars were 9 and 12.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker