LOTTERY winners from across the north west with winnings of more than £40m between them have come together to celebrate 25 years.

The group, some of the 659 millionaires sporting north west postcodes, gathered at Tatton Park to mark a quarter of a century of The National Lottery.

In that time, 5,500 millionaires have been made across the UK with a total of £71 billion won in prize money.

Tatton Park received National Lottery funding for the 2018 launch of its award-winning Farm ‘Field to Fork’ story, and played host to some of the region's biggest winners.

Among them were Sharon and Nigel Mather, from Sale, who scooped £12.4m in 2010 and Kevin and Michele Jones, from Crewe, who won £6.1m in 2016.

Northwich Guardian:

Kevin and Michele Jones

Sharon and Nigel have since moved into their dream home, in addition to helping and supporting numerous charities as well as fulfilling a hobby buying race horses and attending race meetings.

They said: “Winning the lottery doesn’t just change your life, it gives you the opportunity to help so many people too. We absolutely love helping others and just seeing the joy you can bring to so many people.

“It is a relief too knowing our children’s futures are now financially secure, something every mother worries about.

“It really is truly amazing to think that people have been enjoying the ‘if I won the lottery’ conversation for 25 years, and even better to know that 5,099 ticketholders in the North West can, like us, say ‘I’ve won big on the lottery’.

“Winning the lottery has been truly life-changing. It has opened so many doors for us, but we are still the same people.”

Meanwhile, Kevin and Michele Jones, who both celebrated their 60th birthdays this year, immediately retired early after their lucky dip ticket changed their lives forever.

Kevin, a former bus driver, said, “Buying the gift of time is what our lottery win has done for us.

“We have no financial worries and have been able to help every member of our family. It means we also have money in the bank for a rainy day!

“It is amazing to have met so many other winners since our win and to celebrate 25 years of changing lives together – and not forgetting all of the fantastic charities which have been helped along the way too as a result of people playing The National Lottery.

“Here’s to the next 25 years.”

While National Lottery winners are celebrating the birthday, so too are National Lottery-funded projects. Since 1994, £40 billion has been raised for good causes and currently around £30m is raised every week.