Harborough district couple danced around their house and drank Champagne after winning £1 million on the National Lottery

A £2 Lucky Dip ticket at a local petrol station changed their lives forever

By Red Williams
Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 5:37 pm

A top ballroom dancer and her retired husband from Harborough district have won a stunning £1 million on the National Lottery after splashing out on a £2 Lucky Dip ticket.

Award-winning Theresa Picton-Clark, 69, and her husband John, 67, hit the jackpot after forking out and taking the plunge at a Lutterworth petrol station.

The sensational win could not have come at a better time as Theresa, known to her family and many friends as Terri, ended up “crying in despair” as the couple battled to buy a new kitchen.

Theresa Picton-Clark, 69, and her husband John, 67, hit the jackpot after forking out and taking the plunge at a Lutterworth petrol station.

And ecstatic Terri and John ended up dancing around their home and drank five bottles of champagne with their equally-thrilled neighbours as they celebrated becoming instant millionaires.

The big-hearted couple, who live in the Lutterworth area, are now lining up the trip of a lifetime to Antarctica as well as a new home and sporty new cars.

And the generous grandparents are already getting behind their friends and loved ones as they share their great fortune.

“We’ve helped friends who are home-schooling their children.

Theresa Picton-Clark, 69, and her husband John, 67, hit the jackpot after forking out and taking the plunge at a Lutterworth petrol station.

“We bought another laptop for them to make things a little easier and we also bought one for my grandchild to help my son,” said Terri, who’s got her eye on a glamorous new dress and dancing shoes.

“To be able to tell friends who have always been there for you that you can help them feels amazing.”

Terri, an Equine Facilitator at Project Pony, an initiative funded by the National Lottery, and John found out they were quids in after entering the Lotto draw on Saturday January 9.

Their lives changed for ever when the two have-a-go pensioners snapped up the £2 ticket at Walcote Service Station on the A4304 near Lutterworth as they went to buy a new kitchen.

“On our way to our kitchen appointment, we stopped off to get some petrol and John bought a lottery ticket - he always buys a Lucky Dip.

“It turned out to be one of those days.

“I was trying to get 0 per cent interest for the kitchen we wanted and the bank was being difficult - and I ended up just crying in despair,” admitted Terri.

“John said to me, 'you never know we might win the lottery', to which I replied with ‘oh, you always say that’!”

Their lives turned upside down when days later John called in to WH Smith newsagents on Market Harborough High Street to check out if he’d struck lucky.

“On Monday, whilst John was out, he popped in to the shop to check the ticket and the cashier said, 'you are going to have to call Camelot, you've won too much money’.

“I was working on a Zoom call when John came back in waving the ticket about and I mouthed to him 'what are you doing?' but I continued the call, ignoring him.

“Once I’d finished the work call I found out exactly what was up with him,” said Terri.

“We called Camelot and John said to me, 'if it is what I think it is, I've already spent it’.

“We were thinking it was around £50,000 and when Camelot confirmed it was £1,000,000, John was very calm (as usual) and I was the one jumping up and down!”

Delirious Terri and John promptly opened a bottle of champagne at 2.30pm that afternoon to celebrate.

“The neighbours could see us jumping up and down, dancing and celebrating and asked us what we were doing.

“We told them about our win and they ended up celebrating with us, socially-distanced from our respective front gardens,” said Terri.

“Five bottles later and John didn't get up until 3pm the next day!”

Both Terri and John are especially savouring their shock good fortune after both have suffered strokes within a few years of each other.

And this popular down-to-earth couple are already putting a radiant smile on so many other people’s faces.

“John gave the shop assistant at the garage who sold him the ticket £100 and said to her, 'make sure you don't do anything sensible with the money',” smiled Terri.

And they are now busy making sure their own dreams come true in the very near future.

“John wants to go to Antarctica when it is safe to do so - that is top of his bucket list.

“There is also talk of a ski trip with the grandkids.

“I would love to go again, if I can still do it!

“John has never been on a winter holiday,” said Terri.

“My son is really pleased for us, as we can now have the retirement we always dreamed of and don’t need to worry about watching the pennies.

“We have always had penny-pinching holidays - even our wedding, a year and a half ago, was on a budget.

“We are looking at a new house, one with more space.

“And we also want to get a new car each - a sensible one and a sporty one!

“I would love to revamp my wardrobe.

“John has said he will take me to Saville Row to get a new tailored suit with a matching skirt to wear in all seasons.

“I also want to buy a new dress and dancing shoes, ready for when I can dance again.”

A brilliant amateur Ballroom and Latin dancer, Terri has competed in scores of top competitions all over the country over the years.

She is the only ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance) member who has landed five coveted ballroom and two Latin titles, amazingly retiring undefeated in Ballroom.

The National Lottery win isn’t the first time the couple have had a fantastically-lucky break - after a chance encounter three years ago dramatically reignited their friendship after 22 years.

“John and I met 22 years ago when we worked together.

“We got on really well and were very fond of each other but, we both ended up going our separate ways.

“Three years ago, when the ‘Beast from the East’ storm hit, I came home from a really dreadful date and wondered if that was all there was out there for me,” said Terri.

“I went back on the dating site for one last look and came across John – he was stranded in the same area due to the blizzard.

“I thought to myself, 'I know him', so I messaged him and asked if he remembered me.

“He replied and said, 'Of course I remember you and you're looking even better than you did all those years ago’!”

Terri added: “We met up that weekend and the rest is history.

“He was always the one that got away.”

Terri has experienced first hand how National Lottery funding supports the community, having worked as an Equine Facilitator at Project Pony at The Way of the Horse for the last year.

The successful Lutterworth-based mission has been awarded four National Lottery grants, totalling £267,000.

“I absolutely love my job.

“The centre supports vulnerable groups who suffer with anxiety, stress and mental health issues and the situation with Covid has made it a lot worse for them,” said Terri.

“We have continued to support them by hook or by crook and The National Lottery funding has made a huge difference.

“I always think of how we are helping good causes when we buy our lottery tickets.”

Terri and John matched five numbers and the Bonus Ball to become millionaires.

The winning numbers for the draw on Saturday January 9 were 09, 21, 23, 30, 35, 38, and the Bonus Ball was 53.