Gravesend Great-Granny Wins £500,000 In National Lottery Thunderball Game

Sheila Garrett, a pensioner from Gravesend has just won a lottery for the second time, and this time she’s bagged half-a-million pounds after winning the National Lottery’s Thunderball game.

The lucky 80-year old great-grandmother, whose first lottery win was a $20,000 prize she won in the 90s while living in the U.S, said she always knew she would win the Thunderball at some point in her life.

While admitting that it all felt like a dream, she affirmed that she had always been confident about winning the top prize.

According to her: “I can’t get my head around it at the moment. It is still quite new and hasn’t really sunk in. It has become more real after holding the big cheque.”

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Sheila, who used to visit the shops to buy her Thunderball ticket, started playing online through the National Lottery website after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

When the winning numbers for the 25th September draw were announced, they all rang a bell with Sheila. 

“I looked and thought they looked like my numbers and that I had better sign in to my National Lottery account,” she said.

“As soon as I saw the message that I had won, I knew it was the £500,000 top prize. I always knew I would win Thunderball.”

Sheila’s other big lottery win happened in the early 1990s when she was living in Florida. At the time, she won $20,000 on the “Fantasy Five,” a lottery game with a style similar to that of the Thunderball.

According to her: “Fantasy Five only allowed you to choose numbers up to 26, meaning my birth date – the 28th – had to become 2 and 8.

“The winning numbers in this Thunderball draw of course included 2 and 8.

“Also there were the birth dates of my three children 5, 14 and 24. The all-important Thunderball was number 10 which is supposed to be my lucky number – it certainly seems to be very lucky now.

“I’ve got my eye on the next win – I see the stories in the papers of the big winners my daughter-in-law looks after and it always takes me back to my win in Florida – and now it’s happened again.

“It’s been a bit more each time so it will have to be EuroMillions next.”

Kathy Garrett, Sheila’s daughter-in-law, who works as a winner’s advisor for the national lottery, said: “I’m delighted for Sheila, I have the most amazing job where I get to see lives changed by a National Lottery win and I know what a difference this will make to her.”

Sheila, who has 15 great-grandchildren, plans to get a bigger apartment within the complex where she lives and renovate it with her prize win.

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