A FORMER Carnoustie woman and her husband who live in Suffolk are still in a daze after winning Friday’s massive £148,656,000 EuroMillions jackpot prize.
Gillian and Adrian Bayford from Haverhill have banked the second biggest UK lottery win.
Gillian was born in Kirkcaldy and later lived in Carnoustie and attended Carnoustie High School as well as Blackness Primary and Harris Academy in Dundee.
Her parents, still live near Carnoustie and her father, Ian McCulloch, related how they did not learn about the huge win until the next day because he did not hear his ‘phone in the next room.
Adrian (41), who co-owns a music shop in Haverhill, and Gillian (40), a healthcare assistant in a local hospital, are still struggling to fully appreciate the moment they realised they had won the jackpot as their young son had just woken-up and was crying.
Adrian explained how events unfolded on Friday night. He said: “I had been watching the film ‘The Bank Job’ on TV while Gillian was out with friends. When she got back we decided to turn over and catch-up on the news.
“Scrolling along the bottom of the screen was the news that one person had won EuroMillions but Gillian confessed that she hadn’t had time to get a ticket. As a joke, I said neither had I when in fact I had five lines upstairs waiting to be checked.
“By now both of our children had woken up, so while Gillian was trying to settle them back to sleep, I went to check the numbers on my ‘phone. Gradually the numbers seemed to match-up with those on my ticket and I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing!
“I rushed back and turned on the main light at which point Gillian went ballistic! The kids really were awake by now. I was trying to tell her that we had won the lottery and she was telling me to keep the noise down!”
The couple then called family members to share the good news, having given up on getting the children back to bed. Gillian said: “Everyone was very surprised to hear from us so late at night and thought we were joking at first. It took us a while to make them believe us!”
“The children sensed our ecstatic mood and took full advantage of it. They finally settled back to sleep in our bed at around 2 a.m. We decided we weren’t going to be needing our bed that night anyway!”
The couple spent the rest of the evening/early morning searching the internet, deciding what they wanted to spend the money on.
The couple, who have been married for eight years, are currently reviewing what they do next following their huge windfall. Gillian has worked in the children’s ward at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge for the past three years but intends to leave the job.
Adrian co-owns the Suffolk Music Centre, a music shop in Haverhill which sells musical instruments as well as vinyl records and cds. Adrian recollects the moment he told his close friend and business partner.
He revealed: “On Saturday I called my business partner and told him to close the shop, I was coming to pick him up. I didn’t explain why but he knows me well enough to know I wouldn’t mess him about. We went to his parents’ home nearby and sat in the garden.
“He couldn’t believe it but was really pleased for us. It was great to tell him – made it feel more real for me. We celebrated with a few beers. The shop didn’t re-open on Saturday in the end!”
The couple have remained remarkably calm as they begin to realise that the life-changing sum is now theirs. Reflecting on the win, Gillian admitted: “Neither of us can quite comprehend just how much £148 million is. We have always worked and saved up for holidays or things that we need.
“We have lived within our means and been comfortable but we have been like ships in the night to earn the income we needed. It will be fantastic to spend more time as a family now. This money has come at the right time for us and is going to benefit the whole family. The win is not just for us, it is for us to share and everyone’s life is going to be so much more enjoyable and stress-free.”
The couple have two children, a daughter aged six and a four-year-old son, who are blissfully unaware that their parents could now afford to buy them their very own toy shop if they so wanted.
There was excitement at Barry Downs caravan park on Wednesday when rumours were circulating that Gillian and Adrian had been spotted on a visit to Gillian’s parents, Ian and Brenda McCulloch, and her brother, Colin, all of whom live at the site.