Belfast Telegraph

Lottery winner pops the question

A lottery winner has finally found the courage to pop the question to his long-term partner moments after finding out he had scooped a £6.6 million jackpot.

Graham Nield, 55, said he had attempted to ask Amanda Vickers, 48, to marry him many times but kept losing his nerve.

But when he found out that he had matched all six Lotto numbers, Mr Nield, from Batley, West Yorkshire, finally decided the moment was right.

"We recently went to Tenerife and I was planning to ask Amanda to marry me," he said.

"But every morning at breakfast I got really nervous and the words just wouldn't come out of my mouth.

"When we found out on Sunday that we'd won, I blurted out 'Now will you marry me?' to which she replied 'Yes, but it isn't because you've won the money, it's because I love you'."

The couple, who are both divorced, have been together for 10 years and have five grown-up children between them from previous relationships, and 13 grandchildren.

They said they only told their family about their windfall last night when Mr Nield formally asked Ms Vickers' mother Joan, 72, for permission to marry her daughter.

Ms Vickers said her mother had no hesitation after he went down on bended knee in front of her and her father James, also 72.

"I think she loves him more than I do," she joked.

Mr Nield admitted he had considered asking his partner to marry him several times over the years but "it just wouldn't come out".

Ms Vickers said: "I've been hoping for 10 years."

But the couple said they are still planning the simple register office ceremony they have always imagined followed by a big party for friends and family.

Mr Nield said: "I'll be able to afford Christmas this year for them."

They have no plans for expensive engagement and wedding rings. Ms Vickers said they were planning to use a ring they already had which has sentimental value to both of them.

The couple met at automotive firm Autoneum, where Mr Nield has worked for 25 years and Ms Vickers for 12.

She said she is planning to hand her notice in tomorrow - and Mr Nield is her boss who will have to accept it.

He said he is still thinking about whether to give up work.

Remembering the moment they found out about the win, Mr Nield said: "She j ust went 'whoopee' and went jumping around the room.

"I said 'are you serious?' and she said 'yes, we've won, we've won'.

" As she was jumping round the room going 'whoopee, whoopee', I said 'now can we get married please?'."

The couple did not check their ticket until Sunday evening because they were up at 2am that day securing a pitch at a local car boot sale. They said they have just moved in with Ms Vickers' parents and have a lot of things to get rid of.

They are still planning a further sale, but not this weekend.

They are proposing to use their money sensibly and have no major plans beyond the wedding.

Mr Nield said: "Obviously we're going to look after the family .

"The rest of it - it doesn't feel real at the moment."

Asked if Mr Nield was a romantic man, Ms Vickers said with a smile: " When we're on our own, but in front of people he puts a hard face on."

Mr Nield bought his ticket from Tesco in Batley. His winning numbers were 15, 25, 26, 33, 34, 41.

Asked about the proposal, Ms Vickers said: "That meant more to me than the money.

"Winning the money? I'm more excited about getting married."

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