Winning ticket kept in teapot

A couple who scooped £1 million on the EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle draw kept their winning ticket in a “sacred” antique teapot over Christmas until they could claim their prize.

Judy and Frank Whitmore, from Tockwith, North Yorkshire, put the teapot on top of a kitchen unit after finding out about their win on Christmas Eve.

They successfully claimed their prize from Camelot yesterday and held a news conference about their win.

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Mrs Whitmore, 62, explained the family decided against any last-minute shopping despite the windfall.

She said: “We just wandered down the river with great big smiles on our faces and occasionally laughing.”

EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle created 50 millionaires in the UK in the month leading up to Christmas.

Mrs Whitmore, who is teetotal, posed for photographs with her husband, the teapot and a glass of champagne for Mr Whitmore - though he usually prefers Tetleys bitter.

She said: “The teapot is a family heirloom. It was Frank’s great-great-grandmother’s.

“We kept it on top of the pine unit on a shelf.

“It’s sacred to us, our little teapot.”

The retired couple have three children, Andrew, 42, Louise, 40, and Paul, 32, with four grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

Mr and Mrs Whitmore, who have been married for 43 years, now plan to take a break to clear their heads after their win.

But they will not be venturing abroad as Mrs Whitmore hates flying and does not even have a passport.

The keen walkers love the east coast and said they may venture to the north of Scotland, working their way slowly back to their home near York.

Mr Whitmore, 68, spent 40 years refurbishing kitchens while his wife worked part-time at a cafeteria.

“We were comfortable because my husband was sensible and had a good pension,” she said.

“We were not rich. We are normal, everyday people who like taking the dog for a walk and the countryside.”

He plans to trade in his Vauxhall Meriva for a Toyota Rav4 and they may buy a seaside caravan.

She said: “It’s just absolutely amazing.”

He added: “It means freedom to us - your ulcers disappear.”

The winning raffle number was FYC 521328 and their ticket was bought in Tockwith Post Office.