"It is always wonderful to hear about the truly amazing things that National Lottery winners do with their money."
Weird and wonderful purchases of lottery winners like Steve and Jill Walsh, from Hull, feature in a unique and uplifting photo exhibition to mark the 25th Birthday of The National Lottery.
The photo exhibition will be placed at the historic lottery-funded Fulham Palace and will run from 30th October - 10th November. The exhibition showcases the inspiring, obscure and heart-felt stories behind what winners of The National Lottery have purchased with their prize money.
Steve and Jill Walsh, who won £1M on the Lotto Millionaire Raffle on 14 December, 2016, celebrated their win with a very special “man shed” – something Steve had always dreamed of owning.
Steve said, “Before we won the lottery, I used to joke that I wanted by own space – but we didn’t even own our own home!
“Thanks to our National Lottery win we were able to buy a four-bed house – and now I have my own bolt-hole too – my man shed which I designed myself and filled with memories of our lives from both before and after the win.”
Steve christened his hideaway ‘The Dive Inn’ because of his love of diving and the couple’s joint love of cruising which they have done lots of since their win.
Steve added, “We kept the nautical theme too, with life buoys, model yachts and a ship’s wheel on the walls.
“There’s also a corner for my music and guitars, a bar which serves all my favourite tipples and pictures on the wall showing the great places Jill and I have been to since winning the Lottery.
“It cost several thousand pounds to convert the garage into my very own inn – but it’s now my favourite local!”
The stunning exhibit details 25 individual photographs of winners and aims to tell their individual stories and paint a picture of their fascinating lives. From Cath and Bill Mullarkey’s dream of building a beautiful home in St. Lucia, to Richard & Faye Davies’ £20K field for their dogs to enjoy and Matt Evans’ football-themed garden, the exhibition covers it all.
Andy Carter, Senior Winners’ Advisor at The National Lottery, said, “It is always wonderful to hear about the truly amazing things that National Lottery winners do with their money.
“This exhibition is a fantastic showcase of whacky and obscure hobbies, to the generous, heart-felt and even surprising stories that winning The National Lottery has enabled some of our 5,500 millionaires to have.”
The first National Lottery draw was on November 19th 1994. The exhibition is a celebration of winners to mark the 25th Birthday. Over the last 25 years, 5,500 millionaires have been created from The National Lottery and over £71 billion in prizes has been given out. In total, £40 billion has now been raised for good causes and more than 565,000 individual grants have been made across the UK - an average of 200 lottery grants in every UK postcode district. Each week, around £30 million is generated for good causes.
The photos are being displayed at the historic Fulham Palace. In total, £9million of money raised by National Lottery players has been invested in Fulham Palace and the surrounding Bishop’s Park.