Lottery win for cancer survivor

Published: October 24, 2007 | 6762nd good news item since 2003

A great grandmother who has beaten cancer twice is sharing a Lottery win of almost £1m ($2m).

Margaret Pinnell, 65, from Cardiff, is part of a five-strong syndicate with husband John, and their daughter, that won £962,302 in Saturday’s draw.

Mrs Pinnell, who has raised hundreds of pounds for Cancer Research Wales, also celebrated the birth of her second great-grandchild on the same night.

She said: “This just goes to show that ordinary people do win.”

Mr and Mrs Pinnell collected their cheque at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, where Mr Pinnell, 67, had worked as a labourer.

The mother-of-five said she planned to buy the council house in Ely where she has lived for 43 years.

The former betting office deputy manager was at home when the six winning numbers – 4, 15, 25, 27, 33 and 40 – came up. She first thought she had won £10.

It was the second event of the night for her as, hours earlier, she had learned of the birth of great-grandson Callum Davies.

At a press conference at the stadium, members of her family broke down in tears as Mrs Pinnell told of her struggles with cancer.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and underwent a mastectomy on her left breast, before being given the all-clear last November.

In 2003 she developed kidney cancer, and had the organ removed.

She said: “We haven’t had the best luck over the last few years, particularly health wise, but finally things are changing.

“You see a lot of winners with posh houses, but we’ve had to scrimp and save all our lives. Now we can have a marvellous retirement.

“We formed the syndicate seven years ago.

“We’ve had the odd three numbers in the past and even five numbers once, but we only ever dreamt about a win as big as this.”

After her illnesses, Mrs Pinnell went on to raise hundreds of pounds for Cancer Research UK.

Her efforts included abseiling from a tall building and having her head shaved ahead of chemotherapy treatment.

Retired Mr Pinnell, 67, who helped build the Millennium Stadium, said it felt “lovely” to return to the city centre landmark in such happy circumstances.

The couple, who have been married for 47 years, hope to holiday in Tenerife and the UK.

Their daughter, mother-of-four Wendy Attley, 45, said she was planning a trip to Hawaii.

She added: “I took my shoes off and ran around to the house, thinking there was something wrong. I had to check the ticket 20 times when I was told we’d won.”

One of the two other syndicate members, both friends of the Pinnells, is on holiday and is still unaware of the win, Mrs Pinnell said. The other does not wish to be identified.

Published in Sudden Wealth
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