The £152,000 win on the Littlewood Pools was the equivalent of more than £3m today - and after collecting the cheque with husband Keith from Bruce Forsyth, Mrs Nicholson did just that, blowing her fortune in just three years.
But Mrs Nicholson’s time in the spotlight made her one of Castleford’s most famous women, and even in the decades after her win, which was dramatised in the musical Spend, Spend, Spend, her fame stayed with her.
Her youngest son Howard, who helped curators and Castleford Library and Museum put together the exhibition, said: “People really warmed to her - they understood her story, from poverty to riches.
“For a long time, people would go into the museum and ask ‘where’s Viv Nicholson?’ I find it incredible that she has an exhibition dedicated to her but I think she has a right to be there. She put Castleford on the map.”
The family have loaned photographs, and clothes for the exhibition, which includes a replica of the couple’s winning Pools coupon. There are also costumes from Spend, Spend, Spend, on loan from West Yorkshire Playhouse and the original script of the controversial BBC Play for Today, on loan from University of Sheffield.
Mrs Nicholson died in hospital in Wakefield in April 2015 age 79, after suffering from dementia for five years.
Mr Nicholson, who wrote a book about his mother, published last year, added: “I don’t know what she’d make of it, but I’m very proud that she meant so much to the people of Castleford.”
The exhibition runs until December 31.