Couple recalls how life quickly changed after big lottery win
By Kate Northrop
THORNBURY, U.K. — A mother from the United Kingdom was so thrilled by her £1 million (US$1.4 million) EuroMillions lottery win that she went into labor four weeks early.
In February 2019, Natalie Metcalf, 39, and her partner Andy Symes, 43, had found out that their winning code in the EuroMillions game UK Millionaire Maker was drawn. Just as soon as they were about to celebrate, however, baby Poppy had other plans.
Metcalf and Symes were in a meeting with a National Lottery Winners' Advisor to discuss plans for the big win, which suddenly had to wait when Metcalf went into labor. That same day at 12:02 pm, Poppy was born.
"It was strange times, and obviously Poppy was early as a result of the excitement of winning the lottery, so on one hand you are really excited you have this life changing amount of money, and on the other it was panic stations because something was happening that shouldn't be happening yet," Metcalf told The Mirror. "I remember being wheeled down the recovery ward, and the midwife was tucking me in, looking after me, and I remember blurting out, 'I should be at home now spending a million pounds!' and I think she just [said], 'What?'"
The couple joked that winning the lottery was much easier than delivering a baby, but with Poppy in the picture, both could not have come at a better time.
Last year on July 4, five years since the day they first met, they were set to have their wedding. As was the case for many other couples, the coronavirus pandemic put those plans on hold.
Since then, they've been busy planning their wedding for the rescheduled date, which is soon to take place on July 24 at a country house in Somerset with 50 guests. Four-year-old Noah, Poppy's older brother, will be the page boy with Poppy as the flower girl.
Symes, a payroll supervisor at a pensions firm, remarked that winning the lottery brought more freedom, stability, and flexibility to their lives.
"Winning the lottery has certainly improved our work life balance," he explained. "I work through choice now, and we have a better quality of life. We've taken our time, not spending our winnings all at once, which is the advice we would give any new winners too. An incredible win like ours makes life more comfortable and means you don't have a mortgage and can have the nicer holidays."
Once travel restrictions allow it, the couple said they are looking forward to a honeymoon abroad.
"The National Lottery win has allowed me to be at home with the children, a luxury I never thought possible," Metcalf said. "It has also given us the opportunity to own our own home and get married, which were two things I wanted most in the world. I couldn't be happier."
Symes teased that perhaps they should plan on having another baby if it meant winning the lottery again. For now, the most recent addition to the family is a new Cockapoo puppy.
"A National Lottery win is life changing, and, in theory, means you can have a stress-free life," Symes said. "We're very much looking forward to that."
(Click to display full-size in gallery)