Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Lotto millionaires’ ‘dreams came true’ after learning son is cancer free

John and Allison McDonald won a £2 million Lotto jackpot just before Christmas.

John and Allison McDonald celebrate (Danny Lawson/PA)
John and Allison McDonald celebrate (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Tom Wilkinson and Dave Higgens, PA

A couple who won a £2 million lottery jackpot three days before finding out that their teenage son is clear of cancer have said: “It is just like all of our lifelong dreams came true.”

John and Allison McDonald have described how their their Lucky Dip ticket matched all six numbers to scoop the Lotto jackpot on Wednesday, December 18.

Three days later, Mr and Mrs McDonald, from Stockton on Tees, were given the news that their 15-year-old son, Ewan, had finally been given the all-clear after being treated for cancer all year.

Mr McDonald said: “It is just like all of our lifelong dreams came true in the space of three days.

“What a start to 2020. Everyone always dreams of winning the lottery at Christmas – and talks about how amazing this would be – but Allison and I never believed it would happen to us – and it has.

“And then to receive news that Ewan’s latest scans are all clear is just truly amazing. We are so thankful.

“2020 is certainly looking like being one amazing year for the three of us!”

bpanews_3392b385-44f7-42be-b34d-81276a511391_embedded249328086
John and Allison McDonald celebrating their win at Crathorne Hall, North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Ewan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in May last year and underwent chemotherapy treatment.

Both Mr McDonald, 62, a security officer who frequently worked 70-hour weeks, and Mrs McDonald, 49, who worked in an opticians, have now handed in their notices at work.

Mrs McDonald said: “This is just the most amazing feeling ever.”

Mr McDonald described how he checked his ticket while having a hot drink at work.

“As I continued to check, I realised I had matched all six. I was just in total shock,” he said.

“My legs were trembling as I called Camelot to check that what I was seeing was in fact right.”

bpanews_3392b385-44f7-42be-b34d-81276a511391_embedded249328179
John and Allison McDonald with their 15-year-old son Ewan (Anthony Devlin/PA)

He told a news conference in Yarm how he called his wife, who was at the dentist.

Mrs McDonald said that she saw a missed call on her phone.

She said:  “I just thought, ‘Oh no, why is he calling me – something must be wrong, something terrible has happened, has something gone wrong with Ewan’.

“Never did I believe when I called him back he would be telling me we had won the Lotto jackpot.”

She said: “It is fantastic that this win has not only given us the financial security to buy a lovely new family home – but also time. We can both now afford to stop work and spend time with our family making memories – something we could only have ever dreamed of doing.”

The couple, who also have two other children and three grandchildren, bought their winning ticket from Asda in Portrack Lane, Stockton on Tees.

The winning numbers were: 13, 15, 36, 44, 50 and 56.

bpanews_3392b385-44f7-42be-b34d-81276a511391_embedded249328766
John and Allison celebrating their win (Danny Lawson/PA)

After the family’s incredible run of good news, Mrs McDonald said: “I spent a week shaking and crying. It’s a lot to take in.”

Their son underwent six bouts of chemotherapy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, and it meant Ewan and his mother spent weeks away from the family home.

They were expecting the results of his latest scan to come in the days before Christmas and while they could see his health was improving, they were still afraid there could be bad news before they got the all clear.

She told reporters at a news conference: “Ewan has coped very well, he has been very inspirational.

“It’s probably been more difficult for us.

His proud father said: “All our happiness has come together in one go.

“It’s a relief – life is going to become easier for us and we are looking forward to it.”

As well as looking for a new home, the family intend to take more camping trips this year.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph