A COUPLE won the £12.4m EuroMillions jackpot and spent their next Christmas in Jamaica with 18 friends – but warned that “you can’t buy your health.”
The couple won a life-changing £12.4million in 2010 when Nigel was a hotel manager and Sharon worked for the local council.
Sharon and Nigel were able to treat family and friends to exotic vacations and a mortgage-free life since their glorious victory 11 years ago.
And despite the jackpot, their teen kids aren’t asking for anything “silly” at Christmas because the couple has taught them to be responsible with their money.
But the couple soon realize that money can’t buy your health because there’s a family member they can’t share the good news with.
The couple’s granddaughter Shadia was saddened not to be able to enjoy some good times with her family, as she tragically passed away in the wake of the EuroMillions win.
Shadia died just 14 days after her 18th birthday in 2005 at Francis Hospice in Manchester after battling a rare form of bone marrow cancer.
But the couple pledged to use their winnings to help charity – and that’s where they first donated.
Talking to MAN, Nigel revealed: “We sat in the conservatory at Francis House and thought what a wonderful place this is and what tremendous support it has for families.
“We said if we won the lottery this would be the first place to get the money.
“When we won, we got there immediately. Shadia’s mom and dad set up a trust and we put in a sizable amount and everyone raised money as well.
“You have all this money, but it can’t buy your health.”
The charity has a close place in their hearts – and thanks to family sponsorship, the hospice has a music room where kids can jot down messages for their families – what Nigel says is a “good legacy”.
Nigel is also the president of local charity Stockdales – and they help organize fundraisers for them every year.
Before he hit the jackpot and was able to retire, Nigel worked hard six days a week, including Christmas and New Year.
So the first Christmas after their incredible win, they took 18 on a family vacation to Jamaica.
You have all this money but it can’t buy your health.
It was his first holiday season – so he decided to treat all of his loved ones.
Talking about the happy memory, Nigel said: “The first Christmas after we won was the first Christmas I got off so we took 18 people to Jamaica.
“It not only changed our lives, it changed a lot of people’s lives.”
After winning a life-changing amount, the couple decided to celebrate in a very modest way – by ordering a takeaway from China.
However, they said they didn’t end up eating it, and instead shared three Magners because that was all they had in the house at the time.
But despite their victory, Sharon and Nigel raised their two sons to be humble and taught them the value of money.
Sharon added: “Even now at Christmas time they don’t ask for anything silly.
“Actually, they might get less because we don’t want to give them too much.
“Just like being a parent, winning the lottery doesn’t come with a book. You’re learning all the time.”
Millionaires have helped family and friends by paying off mortgages, paying for vacations, and investing in their businesses.
When they started giving away some of their winnings to family and friends, they said the operation was from the TV show “Secret Millionaire”.
In the reality show, millionaires will stay anonymous in communities and agree to give tens of thousands of pounds to everyone they meet.
Sharon added: “My husband used to be a hotel manager and he did a spreadsheet and went around about 30 friends and family homes and it was almost like Secret Millionaire.
“We made a little card and put a check and gave it to them.”
And when it comes to giving the money, Sharon says her husband, Nigel, means a lot to their family and friends.
Sharon added: “He said ‘whatever we gave you – because some of us may have just met and just gave them a token – please don’t look at it to reflect what we won, think what difference that money would make for you’.
“We can’t give it all away because we need to take care of us and we have two young children.
“We have the rest of our lives but want to make a difference to as many lives as possible along the way.”
The couple’s two children, Reece, 15, and Lewis, 12, were only three and a year old at the time their family received the big news.
Sharon said: “It took a while for us to tell them because they wouldn’t understand and I think the kids at school were questioning the boys.
“We always say you respect what people have, never show off and never show off. We are both blessed and lucky.
“We’ve always said that we consider it a responsibility to have that money, and we want to do good with that money and not waste it or blow it up.”
And 11 years after the big win, the family still wants to travel to Hawaii for Sharon’s 50th birthday – which has been delayed because of Covid.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17106085/euromillions-winners-jackpot-secret-health-happiness/ EuroMillions couple won £12.4m jackpot and took 18 friends to Jamaica for Christmas warning ‘you can’t buy your health’