Withernsea couple scoop £7m on lotto rollover

A COUPLE who have scooped nearly £7m on the National Lottery have revealed top of their wishlist is helping their disabled daughter.

Paul and Debbie Lawton with their three daughters, Deborah, Tracey and Nicola. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency

Wheelchair-user Tracey Lawton was with her two sisters, mother Debbie and father Paul, who won the £6,911,442 double rollover jackpot on Saturday, as they toasted their success yesterday.

The number one goal for the closely-knit family from Withernsea with their newly-found wealth is to buy a bigger bungalow with a “proper young lady’s bathroom” for Tracey, who has cerebral palsy.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They will be splashing out on a trip to Las Vegas later this year to celebrate Mrs Lawton’s 50th birthday.

Paul and Debbie Lawton with their three daughters, Deborah, Tracey and Nicola. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency

Mr Lawton, 56, said: “Our priorities are immediate family. We have no intention of changing in ourselves. This win means that we can now search for a lovely, big bungalow that can be fitted out properly.

“It will enrich Tracey’s life so much and that’s the most important thing on the agenda. Then we can look after Nicola and her husband and our wonderful three grandchildren, along with Deborah and her partner, who are expecting their first baby later this year.”

At first daughters Deborah Lawton and Nicola Stanley thought their father was playing a practical joke when he called them to the family home on Sunday to break the news.

Mr Lawton, who has been playing the Lottery for 20 years but whose biggest win previously was £76, said: “They thought I’d found a way of finding out the Lottery numbers and making a ticket; they thought it was a joke.”

Mrs Lawton recalled: “We had to show them the ticket numbers on Teletext but they didn’t believe us then.

“They all went pale and looked like they were going to pass out, then started shaking and shrieking with excitement.

“Tracey doesn’t speak, but she looked at us like we all had lost our minds - it was priceless.”

The family celebrated the win with eight cans of lager, a bottle of lemonade and a takeaway.

Mrs Lawton, whose 50th birthday is this year, has already quit her job at a care home in Withernsea, but says she plans to do the occasional shift.

She revealed that before appearing before the cameras at the Hallmark Hotel, near North Ferriby, that she had gone to Asda for a new outfit - and admitted to thinking she was “going to feel a bit guilty having all this money” and that people were not going to like them any more.

She said they had already planned to a trip to Las Vegas for her birthday but the win meant they could now afford to fly down the Grand Canyon.

Mr Lawton, a lorry driver, said he would continue to work - “because you have to do something” - but on a part-time basis or self-employed. He said they would definitely remain ‘ordinary’.

Mrs Stanley, 26, who is a teaching assistant at Hornsea Primary School and has three children aged eight, seven and one, said since the win her mother had been “randomly screaming and laughing”, and said it still hadn’t quite sunk in. “It’s a bit surreal,” she said. “We have been told we are not allowed to give up work, we have to stay grounded, so that’s what we are going to do. It makes sense to stay grounded for my children not to think they can just go to grandad or grandma.”

She said she hoped to give her children a good education - while her 24-year-old sister, carer to Tracey, said a tumble drier was a top priority. The Lawtons, who have been married for 21 years, met in 1983, when Mr Lawton was running the Territorial Army mess in Halifax, They will be having “a bit of a party” for friends and family in Withernsea and Halifax.

Despite his massive win Mr Lawton still went into work as a haulage driver on Monday “so as not to let his colleagues down.”

General manager Andrew Saltmer at Ferndale Transport Co on Staithes Road, Preston, near Hull, said: “That says it all.

“We would always welcome him back. In all sincerity if someone deserved it, it’s Paul. He is a very humble, very straightforward, very nice chap. He has never once whinged at anything.

“We are in a very tough industry but he has always gone the extra mile.”

The lucky ticket was bought from McColl’s on Queen Street, Withernsea, and Mr Lawton picked the numbers at random.