Woman wins £5.4m lottery jackpot after tip from dead brother in a dream

Oct 25, 2011, 8:41 am (17 comments)

After the Big Win

When Deana Sampson won £5.4 million (US$8.6 million) in the UK National Lottery in 1998, her life couldn't have changed more dramatically.

With just £7.64 to her name, she was living in a council house in Sheffield in a loveless marriage and was struggling to bring up two children on just £79 a week in benefits.

On top of that, she'd lost three close family members in nine years, including her disabled brother Glyn four months earlier. She was just about ready to give up on life.

But then her luck changed — and now Deana dreads to think what life would be like if she hadn't bought that ticket.

"I don't like to think about that," laughs Deana, who still lives in Sheffield with her partner Jason Hill, 45, but now in a plush pad with a Porsche in the driveway.

"My mum says I've had an eventful life and it's true. I was brought up on a council estate and even though my parents made the best of things, it was difficult with my brother as he was severely disabled and epileptic.

"My first boyfriend had a serious car accident and broke every bone in his body. I helped him learn to walk and talk again — but we ended up breaking off our engagement.

"Then I met my son Ryan's dad, Mark, but he died in a car accident when Ryan was three.

"I began to think it was me. If I hadn't had Ryan I think I would have just gone to bed and never got up.

"Then I remarried and had a baby girl called Laina-Jo. But she was premature and died at seven weeks. I was devastated.

"We had another girl, Harley, who's now 18, but then two years later my brother Glyn died and I was just about to give up. I was in an unhappy marriage, unable to pay the bills and life was awful — that's when I won."

Deana bought a ticket every week but the Wednesday before her big win, just four months after her brother had died, amazingly he told her in a dream she was going to win and he was right.

"I do believe someone up there was telling me something good was going to happen," she says.

Good is an understatement.

Deana was sat in her brother's chair at her parents' home that Saturday night when her numbers came up on the TV. She won £5,439,681 and her life changed in an instant.

"First of all it's pure shock — it's not someone you've read about, it's you," she says. "Then you panic — how will you deal with it?

"Then you feel relief that you can pay bills, pay off debts. Finally happiness came because I could help family and friends and make their lives easier, especially my mum and dad."

After a big party to celebrate and giving her family and friends a share of her win, Deana's first big purchase was a new house worth £152,000 — the first she'd ever owned.

Then she took 22 relatives on an all expenses paid trip to Jamaica, which cost her £40,000.

"It was fantastic," she recalled. "I gave away £1 million in total to my family, charities and friends, even some I hadn't seen for a long time — and haven't seen since actually.

"I gave them different amounts and went a bit too far as I felt guilty that I had all this money and thought it would last for ever. I wanted to give everyone a slice of what I was feeling."

But five years after she won, she divorced her second husband.

He got, among other things, their £750,000 yacht in the settlement and now lives in Majorca.

A year later, Deana met businessman and dad-of-three Jason.

Not only did a romantic relationship blossom, but a successful business partnership, too.

She invested £1 million and they now own a popular bar and restaurant, Pacific in Chesterfield, plus three other bars in the area. Deana works six days a week and although many ask why she hasn't just put her feet up and decided to never work again, it wasn't an option.

"I work hard because I'm not really one for sitting at home," she says.

"I like to keep busy and the idea of running my own business appealed to me.

"Most of all, I liked the idea of employing people and helping my community.

"It was for my kids, too. Seeing me sat at home lazing around all day wasn't going to teach them anything.

"It's been a massive learning curve, but I couldn't have done it without Jason.

"And although we're not financially reliant on the businesses doing well, once you go into business it's difficult to walk away."

Deana took a while to get used to the fact that she didn't need to scrimp and save any more.

And although she now owns a sports car and designer clothes, she says winning millions hasn't changed her.

"I drive a Porsche but myfirst car was a Ford Mondeo," she says.

"Everyone laughed at me because they thought I'd get a Ferrari or a Lamborghini — but it was great compared to what I had been driving!

"People always ask me if money brings happiness, but winning the lottery doesn't. It's just a good feeling being able to pay the bills and live a lifestyle I only dreamed of before.

"I come from a strong working class northern background and my feet are still very firmly on the ground — I just have better shoes! And although you might suddenly have money, it doesn't instantly make you happy — you can still find yourself in an unhappy marriage, lose family members or get ill.

"But having money has allowed me to do so many things and I now have a great partner and beautiful kids.

"I've gone from having nothing and suffering heartbreak and loss to being really happy.

"If you use the money wisely, it's a fantastic opportunity for anyone."

So how would Deana feel if she won £101 million, like Angela and Dave Dawes earlier this month?

"My £5.4 million seems a dot in the ocean compared to that!" she laughs. "I'm not sure I'd work again if I won that amount, but that's also because I'm close to retiring now and don't have small children.

"I'd like to travel more and buy houses in France, America and London. But I don't think I would do things that much differently — just on a wider scale.

I'd still share the money with family and friends like they're planning to and give some money to charity.

"My advice to them would be not to make any rash decisions or do anything too quickly.

"They should go on a nice holiday abroad first and really take their time to think hard about things."

She adds: "Most of all — just try to enjoy it!"

Daily Mail, Lottery Post Staff


dpoly1's avatardpoly1

after I win the Lottery I am going to make up a story that I got a tip from my dead 1st pet !!!!!!!!



PartyCongrats! Iam next in line for a miracle, who God bless, no man can curse!

whitmansm2's avatarwhitmansm2

After I win, I'm handing a story to my lawyer to read that has NOTHING to do with ME, personally. It'll say something dumb like I'm going to build a mansion in the middle of North Dakota and get season tickets to....uh...The Rams. And buy everyone I know a kitten. (I hate cats.) HAHAHA!

karinda's avatarkarinda

Such a nice story. Blue Angel


So very happy to hear that she is now happily married and doing well with her money and her time.

GOD knows her and the family deserve the beam of sunshine that was shown upon them.

After all of the losses she's had to deal with in a lifetime, I don't blame her for wanting to go to bed and never wake up.

It goes to show that you never know your true strengths until...........

Her story reminds me of a bouy. She bounced back from the "chop", the hellish "troughs", the overwhelming "swells, and the "undertow" of depression that was determined to pull her into the deep.

This is one strong woman and I am encouraged after reading her story.

VAHopeful's avatarVAHopeful

Good story. Her life sounds like she's had her share of ups and downs, but it sounds like she's pretty level-headed. Her advice seems pretty sound too. I hope I have cause to follow some of it. =)


"Most of all — just try to enjoy it!"


That's my plan when I win!

freeobama's avatarfreeobama

I am happy someone who really needed the money won. Hopefully my ship come in tomorrow.Dance


not buying this story. too much of a reversal from being downtrodden to being a saint. people don't change that much. seems like she spent most of the money too quickly. hard to believe people she helped haven't been back for more.


 Three weeks ago I had a dream. I was at a big casino and playing a video slot machine. Suddenly the screen was filled with heart and said Jackpot. And the amount of winning was displayed under the hearts: 212 million dollars. Then I was escorted to a huge office room and signed a document. Then I woke up. I hope this is a premonition, like the dream that the lady had...

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

Just goes to show, things can turn around for ya real quick.

I hope she holds on to some of that money.


I had to look up Ford Mondeo.

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

Quote: Originally posted by whitmansm2 on Oct 25, 2011

After I win, I'm handing a story to my lawyer to read that has NOTHING to do with ME, personally. It'll say something dumb like I'm going to build a mansion in the middle of North Dakota and get season tickets to....uh...The Rams. And buy everyone I know a kitten. (I hate cats.) HAHAHA!

I used to be not so crazy about cats too.

Then a little lost kitten showed up and decided to move in with me and the dogs one day.

He's been my good buddy for about 8 years now.

JAP69's avatarJAP69

Todd put in a mystical forum so one day we may see a big winner come from one of the mystical forum regulars. Hurray!

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