VIDEO: Ipswich dinner lady wins £1million on the National Lottery

Jeff & Karen Dakin Nacton, Ipswich

Jeff and Karen Dakin in Ipswich won £1million on the National Lottery - Credit: Camelot UK

An Ipswich dinner lady is today celebrating a £1million National Lottery win.

Karen Dakin, who has worked throughout the pandemic at her local school, matched five main numbers and the Bonus Ball on Saturday, March 13 - just in time for Mother's Day. 

The 53-year-old said: “It was a usual Saturday evening, relaxing and sat in front of the TV with a drink or two, but as I watched the draw results live on TV I immediately knew they were my numbers!

“I’ve always picked numbers special to me, including my son Callum’s date of birth – the year and the time – so I instantly recognised the winning numbers. What an amazing turn of events – my son has, in some strange way, helped give me the most amazing Mother’s Day gift of all time!”

She phoned Camelot, which runs the National Lottery, the next day as she could not quite believe her £1 million win. 

“When I called the National Lottery Line, I remember the man on the other end of the phone saying, ‘you’re rather calm!’ after he’d just confirmed the life-changing news. I guess I was just in a state of absolute shock!” Mrs Dakin said.

Her close-knit family has been so supportive over the years, particularly during some recent difficult years. 

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She explained, “My husband, Jeff had a serious stroke in November 2018.

Jeff and Karen with a national lottery card

Jeff and Karen Dakin have been married for 35 years - Credit: Camelot UK

"Thankfully he has been able to make a good recovery, and that has a lot to do with the fact that he was at work at the time – he has been an NHS storeman at Ipswich Hospital since 2001 – so was in surgery within a matter of minutes of the stroke happening.

“Jeff was in the hospital for a month and, of course, I was there by his side every day whilst also working hard and trying to keep strong for Callum.

"All of my family were amazing, as was the school where I work during the toughest of years, and I am looking forward to celebrating with all of them as soon as it is safe to do so.”

“Jeff’s recovery has been amazing, although his speech and memory are still affected, and he returned to work to be part of the amazing national effort during the pandemic.

"He plans to stay working for a while yet but, I have absolutely no plans to give up being a dinner lady - I love my job, the school and all the kids.”

Jeff and Karen Dakin have been married for 35 years 

Jeff and Karen Dakin have been married for 35 years - Credit: Camelot UK

Mrs Dakin and her 60-year-old husband have never in their 35 years of marriage been able to afford to buy a house. 

“This win changes all that, and we’re looking for our perfect three-bedroom detached property to move into as soon as we can.

“We love the area so will stay local but, it’ll mean so much – more space for us all and the peace of mind of having no mortgage. It’s amazing.”

A holiday is also very high on the wish list, when it is safe to do so. Mrs Dakin said, “We’ve never been able to afford a holiday before and Callum has never actually been on one.

"After the time we’ve all been through we’d love to get away – maybe Centre Parcs before a big trip to Disneyworld Florida.”

The couple also plans to make sure Callum’s future is secure and will also look to treat their wider family, while Jeff has his eye on a possible season ticket to watch his beloved Spurs.

“After the last few years, this life-changing win means absolutely everything. The future looks brighter and we couldn’t be happier. I’ll never have a better Mother’s Day, that’s for sure!”

Jeff and Karen Dakin have been married for 35 years 

Jeff and Karen Dakin have been married for 35 years - Credit: Camelot UK

Jeff said: “After the last few years, no-one is more deserving of this win than my amazing wife, Karen. She deserves this and I am so thankful for everything she has done.”

Her winning Lotto ticket was bought from Tesco Extra on Anson Road in Martlesham Heath, Ipswich. The winning Lotto numbers for the draw were 6, 8, 11, 17, 29, 44 and the Bonus Ball was 20.