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We won lottery & turned our hobby into an 'empire' – people think we're crazy


A COUPLE who won £1million on a Euromillions jackpot have opened up about how they turned a quirky hobby into an “empire”.

Jeff and Davinia Pritchard landed the cash in 2015 and have been reaping the rewards ever since.

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Jackpot winners Davinia and Jeff Pritchard have opened up about what life’s been like since scooping £1millionCredit: Aled Llywelyn
They couple have turned their quirky passion of beekeeping into an 'empire'

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They couple have turned their quirky passion of beekeeping into an ’empire’Credit: Aled Llywelyn
The Welsh grandparents scooped the seven-figure sum in 2015

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The Welsh grandparents scooped the seven-figure sum in 2015Credit: Aled Llywelyn
They now pour their time and efforts into their bees

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They now pour their time and efforts into their beesCredit: Aled Llywelyn

But the Welsh grandparents aren’t still splurging on endless toys and jetting off on holidays – they’re making the most of one of their passions.

Jeff, 60, started tending to bees decades ago, but the £1m win have given him and Davina the chance to build an empire.

The couple have invested in their property, and the environment, and now even make their own honey which they sell locally.

Davinia said: “One of the most important things our win has bought us is time – time for us to pursue a hobby we love and maintain the land to ensure it’s the best environment for our bees, and us.

“Pottering about at home definitely brings us just as much joy as the new cars and exotic holidays we’ve been able to enjoy.

“Our bee adventure actually started well before the win, when Jeff decided to build an ornamental beehive for the garden, and then figured if he had the hive he ought to get some bees.

“We’d never have imagined that 20 years down the line we’d have won on The National Lottery and be living the good life.”

She said the couple “already felt like they’d won the jackpot” before they landed the seven-figure sum as they’d snapped up the dream cottage and some land for the bees.

Davina said it was a “retirement plan” – until the won big.

The 58-year-old continued: “Then, thanks to that dose of Lottery luck, we were able to clear the mortgage and complete the renovation works that we had started sooner than planned so that we had more space for the family and can make the most of the garden, and views across the paddock to the beehives.”

People’s Postcode Lottery winners in Scunthorpe

Jeff added: “I’ve always loved being outdoors with my bees, and our win made that easier to do.”

He said they suddenly had more time to create a “bee-friendly environment”, adding: “As a result, the hives are thriving, our home looks amazing and we are producing plenty of lovely local honey.”

The couple raked in the winnings back in 2015 – and celebrated with a Chinese takeaway.

Jeff told WalesOnline at the time: “I had the shock of my life when I had the email about my ticket – the most I’ve ever won is £95 and a couple of smaller wins of £6.80 or so.

“At first I thought it might be a spam email when I saw it on Saturday afternoon, but logged into our National Lottery account and had to reach for my glasses – the writing can get a bit blurry on the iPad. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Davinia was in work so I left a message, but then she walked through the door and I told her she had better sit down. 

UK’s biggest lottery winners

By Ethan Singh

  • Anonymous winner£195,707,000

A UK ticket-holder scooped the record EuroMillions jackpot of £195 million on July 19 2022 – the biggest National Lottery win of all time.

The holder, who remains anonymous to this day, amassed the fortune with just one lucky ticket.

  • Joe and Jess Thwaite£184,262,899.10

Britain’s previous EuroMillions record holders were Joe and Jess Thwaite.

The couple won a record-breaking £184million jackpot in May 2022 and shared hopes of a Hawaiian holiday and a new horse box for their children’s ponies.

Joe bought his winning ticket online on May 10, 2022, and the following morning received an email with good news.

As he learnt of the huge win, he was in disbelief and initially kept it for himself as he did not want to disturb his wife, who was sleeping.

Joe, a communications sales engineer, and Jess, who runs a hairdressing salon with her sister, have been married for 11 years and have two children.

  • Colin and Chris Weir, £161,653,000

Colin and Christine Weir landed the colossal prize money in 2011 and were Europe’s second-biggest winners until someone in Italy won a jackpot worth £193m in 2019.

They splashed the cash at an astounding rate of £100,000 a week before tragedy struck.

But at the time of Colin’s death in December 2019 his share of the prize money had dwindled by around £40m.

He spent the millions living a life of luxury, forking out for sports cars, property and the football club he supported.

Colin and Christine divorced shortly before his death after being married for 38 years.

He left money for their children Carly and Jamie.

  • Adrian and Gillian Brayford £148,600,000

Adrian and Gillian won 190 million euros in a EuroMillions draw in August 2012, which came to just over £148 million.

But Adrian split from Gillian the following year because of the stress of the win.

The couple bought a Grade II listed estate in Cambridgeshire, complete with cinema and billiards room, but it was sold in 2021.

After divorcing in 2013, he failed to woo ex-sausage factory worker Marta Jarosz — but fell for stable girl Sam Burbidge.

She left him in 2017, taking 30 prize horses Adrian bought.

It might have worked out in the end for Adrian though as the former postman was seen smiling with ambulance worker Tracey Biles last year.

  • Frances and Patrick Connolly – £114,969,775

Former social worker and teacher Frances set up two charitable foundations after she and her husband hit the jackpot.

They scooped almost £115 million on New Year’s Day 2019.

She estimates that she has already given away £60 million to charitable causes, as well as friends and family.

  • Richard and Debbie Nuttall£61,000,000

The couple from Colne, Lancashire, took home £61 million on January 30 2024.

Both 54, they were enjoying a holiday in Fuerteventura, celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.

But they then discovered the big EuroMillions win.

Richard revealed they originally thought they had won £2.60, but then received another email telling the pair to check their account.

Other eye-watering anonymous winners:

Another anonymous winner scooped up a prize of £123,458,008 in the June Superdraw rollover.

Following nine rollovers, one ticketholder bagged the £122,550,350 jackpot last April.

The successful participant chose to remain anonymous.

Another anonymous winner found their fortune during the Superdraw jackpot rollover in April 2018, securing £121,328,187.

“She wondered what I had done and didn’t believe me when I said we had won the lottery. I had to have her double-check the Millionaire Maker code online.”

In 2022 Jeff and Davina opened up about how they splashed some of their cash on getting grandkids.

The couple, from Carmarthenshire, Walessplashed out on a luxury car and renovation on their home to start with – before paying for a gastric surgery for their daughter.

Claire weighed more than 20st at the time, and had been having problems conceiving.

But after the surgery she shed 10stone and soon became pregnant – much to the delight of her parents.

Davinia, 56, told The Mirror: “Of everything we’ve done with our Lottery winnings, our two little grandchildren are far and away the best.

“When we won we wanted to spread the joy to our family and that’s what we’ve done.

“I was booked in for surgery and I inquired if they could do Claire as well. We asked if they would do a buy one get one free deal.”

EuroMillions winner ‘quits pasty obsession’

By Rob Pattinson

LOTTERY winner Adrian Bayford could be spraying the bubbly again — after creating a vineyard on his estate.

Ade, who scooped a £148million EuroMillions jackpot with then-wife Gillian in 2012, has planted what look to be meunier grapes.

It is one of the three main varieties used in the production of Champagne — but his fizz cannot carry the name as it is not from the French region.

Pals say the move was inspired by green-fingered fiancée Tracey Biles, 45, who has transformed the grounds since moving in to Ade’s pile in Haverhill, on the Suffolk/Essex border.

One said: “It’s fantastic to see Adrian using his fortune to explore new ventures. It shows what a fantastic influence Tracey is on him.

“Hopefully we’ll all be able to buy Chateau Bayford soon.”

And it could prove profitable for ex-postie Ade, 53, as the region is tipped to compete with Champagne as the climate here gets warmer.

Jane Clare, of wine blog One Foot in the Grapes, said: “If Mr Bayford is planting grapes to make fizz, he’ll be adding his own sparkle to our home-grown wines which are taking off.

“As our climate gets warmer, it is easier to ripen these grapes to a quality which in turn can create quality sparkling wines.”

A vineyard may also improve the property’s saleability.

Ade, who is due to marry Tracey this summer, took the £12million pad off the market after failing to find a buyer.

The English wine industry produced 22million bottles last year, up from 5.3million in 2017.



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