Within an hour of winning the UK National Lottery jackpot, Barbara Wragg had already told husband Ray how she wanted to spend her winnings: give it to those in need.
For the next 18 years, she was as good as her word.
This former hospital worker — who died last week — gave away an astonishing £5.5 million (US$7.3 million) of her £7.6 million (US$10.1 million) windfall. Hundreds of individuals benefited from her generosity. In her home city of Sheffield, she became known as the Lotto Angel.
"She used to say she couldn't believe how lucky we'd been to be able to help so many people," Ray said. "That sums Barbara up."
Tributes have poured in for the 77-year-old who passed away with sepsis. Hundreds were expected at her funeral on Thursday.
After using the 2000 win to secure the futures of their three children and six grandchildren, the couple set about identifying causes which could be helped by their new fortune. And, while they readily donated to established causes — cancer charities and Sheffield's hospitals were major beneficiaries — it was the smaller cases which perhaps best show the sheer human impact of the couple.
Among those were paying for 250 inner-city children to attend the pantomime for six years running. Another was funding a trip for 60 veterans to attend a reunion of the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.
"Barbara read in the papers that it would be their last chance to go back and they couldn't afford it," says Ray, 80, a retired roofer. "She said to me, 'These men are heroes'. The next thing I knew she was on the phone telling them she'd pay. They thought it was a hoax to start with."
The good deeds started the week after they scooped the jackpot. Plans to open a teenager cancer unit at Sheffield's Weston Park Hospital — a cause close to the couple's heart after one of their daughters was diagnosed at 17 — had been struggling for funding. "We called and said we wanted to give whatever they needed to get things moving," remembers Ray.
Along similar lines, before taking early retirement, Barbara had worked in another city hospital. There, she saw first-hand how only having one bladder scanner caused pain for patients having to wait for its availability. She spent £9,000 buying another.
None of which is to say the couple did not treat themselves.
They moved to a posher part of Sheffield to a house with bay windows — "always Barbara's dream," says Ray.
Thanks to dannyct for the tip.