KAREN Dakin got a great Mother’s Day gift this year – when her lottery numbers came up and she won £1million.
But despite her newfound riches, the 53-year-old says she has no intention of ditching her day job as a dinner lady – and she’s not the only lotto winner to keep working.
Karen, from Ipswich, plans to buy a new house and a car for her NHS storeman hubby Jeff, 60, who had a serious stroke in 2018.
And while she’ll also treat herself to an overdue holiday when she can, Karen has no plans to hang up her dinner lady hairnet just yet.
“I love my job, school and all the kids,” she explained.
News of Karen’s plans to keep working come as Britain’s youngest lottery winner, Callie Rogers, was found to be claiming Universal Credit after blowing £1.8million on cosmetic surgeries and partying.
Karen’s not alone in her hardworking attitude – she’s one of many lottery millionaires who decided to still keep clocking in even after cashing out.
Here are some of the others’ stories – including the bus driver who got up for his shift at 5:30am the morning after he scooped £6million.
Up at midnight to stack shelves
Elaine Thompson scooped an eye-watering £2.7million on the lottery – but still gets up in the middle of the night to stack shelves at M&S.
She even kept it up working 2am shifts throughout the pandemic -even though she’s asthmatic and vulnerable.
The 65-year-old mum-of-two won big back in 1995, splashing out on racehorses and swanky holidays to Vegas to celebrate.
But the grafter from Killingworth, Tyne and Wear, says she keeps working to set a good example for her kids.
“It’s important that children see you working hard,” Elaine said last year.
“I absolutely love my job and just because I won the lottery, this didn’t make me want to give up work.
“It’s all about balance.”
Another lucky lady looking to set an example to kids is Ruth Breen – who still works as a midwife after winning £1million.
The 41-year-old mum from Wigan made her fortune on the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle in 2014, but her love of her job has kept her delivering babies since.
Last year, she explained she wanted to set a good example for teen daughter Lucy.
“It is really important to me that my daughter has a parent and a role model with a good work ethic, so she understands you have to work hard in life to pursue your chosen career and she gets to see me do that.
“Everyone remembers their midwife — you may not always remember their name, but you always remember the experience.”
A £14million jackpot couldn’t keep hardworking plumber John Doherty from fixing boilers.
The tradesman from Elderslie, Scotland, said his staggering 2016 win wouldn’t stop him serving the customers loyal to the firm he founded, JDPS Plumbers.
“I’ll probably slow down a wee bit but I still want to keep doing it,” John said after his wife Alison bought the winning ticket.
“That’s because it’s mine — if I was working for someone else I’d be away.
“I’d like to go four days a week and Alison is thinking three days.”
Alison also revealed she only bought the winning ticket because she copied someone else in the shop.
“There was a man next to me in the queue and when the assistant said ‘next please’ he said ‘you go’,” Alison said.
“I said ‘no, you were first’ and he asked for two lucky dips and that popped the idea into my head.”
Julie Jeffrey won £1million in 2002 – but kept working as a cook in a fire station all the same.
She and partner Chris did manage to pay off their mortgage and make a trust fund for their two kids, but they insist they still live an ordinary life in Watford.
Chris retired from his job as a kitchen planner for John Lewis in 2017, but Julie was still working away two years ago.
“It is true that life has become more comfortable, but we still live a basic life and I’m still doing the same job,” Julie told the Watford Observer in 2019.
“We can use the money to help pay for bills or to enjoy ourselves but if we gave up work, we would have to watch ourselves and what we spend.
“We’re coming closer to retirement and we can then use the money the way we want as long as we’re careful.”
Bloomin’ ‘ard work
Winning the lottery means you can quit your boring job – but that doesn’t mean you want to stop working altogether.
Barbara Derry-McClellan scooped a whopping £2.3million in the Lotto Jackpot in 2000.
Instead of giving up work completely, she switched careers to open up a flower shop and florist wholesale firm.
“I hated my job at a courier company, it was so boring and unfulfilling,” Barbara said.
“I didn’t really have any other skills apart from being good at talking to customers but I did think my mum (a florist) was super talented and that I’d love to be able to do what she did.”
She added: “I probably wouldn’t have made the leap if it hadn’t been for the Lotto win and now I’m surrounded by beautiful blooms everyday – what more could a girl ask for?”
Busman’s dollar day
Kevin Jones is also familiar with early starts – even getting up at 5.30am to go to work the morning after he bagged £6.1million
The bus driver’s massive 2016 windfall came after thieves broke into his home and stripped the place bare.
He was living in Spain at the time but, after losing everything, he decided to return to the UK to work 12-hour shifts on the buses.
And despite realising he’d hit the jackpot on a £2 Lucky Dip, he still went into work the next day.
“We didn’t let the ticket out of our sight as we were terrified we’d lose it or the dog would eat it,” he said at the time of his win.
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“I was at work the next morning at 5.30am and I’d not slept a wink.
“But there was no way I couldn’t go in – I know how much people rely on
me for their morning commute.”
Despite diligently turning up the next day, green-fingered Kevin did plan to retire – and swap his bus for a ride-on lawn mower.