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Lottery winner's sweet wish

UK National LotteryUK National Lottery: Lottery winner's sweet wish

Retired hospital porter Steve Smith, who is suffering from a potentially fatal heart defect, won almost £19 million (US $38 million) on Britain's National Lottery — but said he would give it all up if he could spend a few more years living with his wife Ida.

"I have a one in 10 chance of living. It's like a ticking time bomb," said the 58-year-old Smith, enjoying a bittersweet glass of celebratory champagne with his wife Ida.

Smith, who has an aortic aneurysm, told reporters when collecting his check, "It's Ida I worry for, it's leaving her behind. I would give all that back if I am allowed to still be with her because there are no shops in the cemetery are there?"

Smith landed the giant prize with an extra stroke of luck — the couple stopped off on the way home from a family visit to buy some lucky dip tickets and it was one of those which hit the jackpot.

"I want to see my grandchildren spend their pensions. The youngest one is six, so that's how long I want to live. I want to see them go down the aisle and all that business."

Steve, who lives with Ida in a one-bedroom council flat in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, added, "I have to feel lucky about the money. We have to feel lucky. But I would give it all back to spend my life with Ida."

Steve was diagnosed three years ago. He has to be within 30 minutes of a hospital at all times in case the artery wall bursts and he needs emergency surgery.

All the money in the world cannot help Steve because the weak spot has to reach a certain size before doctors can safely operate. He brushed back tears as he said, "I can't go private and say 'Fix this now, it doesn't matter what it costs'. It's not like that."

Steve will see his doctor to monitor the aneurysm next month and is then due to see a surgeon to discuss whether an operation is possible yet.

But surgery is no easy option because there is the risk he could be left paralyzed. Steve added: "When people talk about heaven and hell, I always say 'I'm living in hell'."

Steve and Italian-born Ida married in 1987 after meeting at a hospital where both were working.

They have had no children together — but have two each from previous marriages and six grandchildren.

Steve now plans to buy a four-bedroom bungalow, a Range Rover — and a few other luxuries. "We have to have a bungalow because I can't do stairs. I am not flash but I want to buy some nice, quality gear because I can afford it.

"But it's not going to change me. I'm the same old rough diamond."

Steve said he bought his winning ticket only as an afterthought after Ida insisted she wanted a Lucky Dip because it was a rollover.

When he realized on Sunday that he won the £18,992,109 he rang his son and told him to come over.

Steve said, "I asked him, have you ever kissed a millionaire? He said no and so I kissed him on the cheek and said 'You have now, boy'.

"They always say the Smiths and Joneses never win. Well Mr. and Mrs. Smith have won this time."

Ida, who stood holding Steve's hand as he spoke, said, "We are very happy. It will change our lives."

Steve added, "How can anybody feel if they have just won 19 million quid? It's emotional. It's all my birthdays come at once. It'll be Christmas every day now — and I've not believed in Christmas for a long time."

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13 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by MaddMike51.
Page 1 of 1
ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
Idaho
United States
Member #56506
November 21, 2007
6537 Posts
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Posted: February 6, 2008, 1:22 pm - IP Logged

The whole story is bittersweet. Frown He sounds like a good and decent person and I hope everything works out for him and his family.

"No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

    s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
    Hard Luck, Ak
    United States
    Member #23472
    October 13, 2005
    279 Posts
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    Posted: February 6, 2008, 2:39 pm - IP Logged

    Congrats!, I hope that today I can have my own lottery winners story.  Just waiting on the sun to shine!  Cool

      MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
      Beautiful Florida
      United States
      Member #5709
      July 18, 2004
      20246 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 6, 2008, 4:01 pm - IP Logged

      Congrats to the smith's, I hope everything turns out the way they hope it will and he's around to at least enjoy their good fortune....!

                                                   

                                                     " You can not control the Wind, but you can direct the Sail "

        BobP's avatar - bobp avatar.png
        Dump Water Florida
        United States
        Member #380
        June 5, 2002
        3114 Posts
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        Posted: February 7, 2008, 12:56 am - IP Logged

        "Smith, who has an aortic aneurysm, told reporters when collecting his check, "It's Ida I worry for, it's leaving her behind. I would give all that back if I am allowed to still be with her because there are no shops in the cemetery are there?"

        If the inheritance laws in the UK are anything like they are in the US he should have let Ida be the winner or formed a trust. BobP

          LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif
          N.C.
          United States
          Member #56005
          October 28, 2007
          877 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 7, 2008, 8:36 pm - IP Logged

          touching story...with a moral.

          appreciate what you have, take nothing for granite.

          all the money in the world can not replace your life, or a loved one.

          I hope everything works out.

          "know your limitations, but excede your expectations"

            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
            United States
            Member #25360
            November 5, 2005
            4461 Posts
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            Posted: February 8, 2008, 1:32 am - IP Logged

            "Smith, who has an aortic aneurysm, told reporters when collecting his check, "It's Ida I worry for, it's leaving her behind. I would give all that back if I am allowed to still be with her because there are no shops in the cemetery are there?"

            If the inheritance laws in the UK are anything like they are in the US he should have let Ida be the winner or formed a trust. BobP

            Bob, I can't say for other countries, but in the United States you can gift an unlimited amount to your spouse without any tax penalty as long as she is a United States citizen.  Spouses don't pay estate tax either. 

            They have had no children together — but have two each from previous marriages and six grandchildren

            In the United States I would recommend a will and a trust only because it would avoid some of the hassles if one of the ex-wives or ex-husbands challenged Ida's inheritance.  Again, they might have different laws. 

            Anyway, as Scary wrote, this is bittersweet.  He can't really enjoy his money and travel with his wife if he's that sick.  However, now they can move to a larger home and hire a live-in caretaker. 

              fwlawrence's avatar - Yavill
              Austin
              United States
              Member #9378
              December 6, 2004
              210 Posts
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              Posted: February 8, 2008, 2:57 am - IP Logged

              touching story...with a moral.

              appreciate what you have, take nothing for granite.

              all the money in the world can not replace your life, or a loved one.

              I hope everything works out.

              "Take nothing for granite." You must have been stoned when you wrote this.

              Take nothing for GRANTED.

                Avatar
                New Member
                Telford
                United Kingdom
                Member #58274
                February 8, 2008
                3 Posts
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                Posted: February 8, 2008, 1:40 pm - IP Logged

                UK tax - gifts between spouses are exempt.

                  LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif
                  N.C.
                  United States
                  Member #56005
                  October 28, 2007
                  877 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 9, 2008, 7:39 pm - IP Logged

                  "Take nothing for granite." You must have been stoned when you wrote this.

                  Take nothing for GRANTED.

                  No, I wasn't stoned. I don't use drugs, but thank you for pointing out the fact that my grammer is not the best in the world.

                  I bet when you wrote this comment that you were so in tune with pointing out the faults of others, that you totally missed the true meaning behind my words.

                  you don't want me to type out what I think you are. I'm sure with the help of a dictionary I could correctly spell it.

                  *Cheers*

                  and  

                  *have a nice day*

                  "know your limitations, but excede your expectations"

                    mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

                    United States
                    Member #24380
                    October 21, 2005
                    623 Posts
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                    Posted: March 9, 2008, 4:16 am - IP Logged

                    I pray that this win will help pay for the necessary surgery!  God be with you, Smith Family!

                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      Fayetteville, Arkansas
                      United States
                      Member #58962
                      March 2, 2008
                      29 Posts
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                      Posted: March 9, 2008, 5:08 am - IP Logged

                      LottoAce,

                      I want to start by assuring you that I am in no way being critical or disparaging of your little mistakes. I have made goofs that are far worse and far more public. In fact, just yesterday I sent an email to a television program using my real name -- something I almost never do in cyberspace -- and didn't proofread it first. Big mistake. It made no sense as written. Embarassed So, my comments here flow from amusement at the situation, not condescension. Smile

                      "Take nothing for granite." You must have been stoned when you wrote this.

                      If fwlawrence had stopped here, it would have been clever.

                      ... but thank you for pointing out the fact that my grammer is not the best in the world.

                      Or your spelling, either. LOL! Big Smile (It's "grammar")Thud

                      When I was in graduate school, in the days when typewriters were still in use, people used to make money typing papers for students. They would often advertise in the school paper. One such advertisement offered a bonus service: "Spelling and grammer corrected." LOL

                      Best wishes Smile

                      The balls have no memory.


                        United States
                        Member #59167
                        March 8, 2008
                        174 Posts
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                        Posted: March 9, 2008, 11:28 pm - IP Logged

                        "Smith, who has an aortic aneurysm, told reporters when collecting his check, "It's Ida I worry for, it's leaving her behind. I would give all that back if I am allowed to still be with her because there are no shops in the cemetery are there?"

                        If the inheritance laws in the UK are anything like they are in the US he should have let Ida be the winner or formed a trust. BobP

                        They, like most people, never planned on winning, so made expensive mistakes.  Some pre-thought and they probably would have let her claim the money.  Either way, lets hope they keep future mistake at a minimum.

                        There is an important lesson here.  Pre-plan, and get legal advise, before you walk into the spotlight.  Once you are blinded by the light, you have zero chance to come out ahead.


                          United States
                          Member #58528
                          February 18, 2008
                          710 Posts
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                          Posted: March 13, 2008, 9:52 am - IP Logged

                          What exactly is a "hospital porter"?I might want to become one.This guy is the second hospital porter to win a lottery jackpot in the past couple of years,maybe its a lucky profession.I wouldn't want to move to England,though.I can't understand a word those people say.