Well worth a u-turn!

Here’s avid sailors Richard and Cathy Brown celebrating their £6million lottery win at Haven Marina, Ipswich.

The lucky pair had set off on their 40ft yacht Brave for a 10-week sailing holiday around Britain when they realised their numbers had come up on the Lotto

draw on Wednesday 29 May.

The retired couple made

an unscheduled U-turn to collect their £6,123,395 cheque.

Richard,

66, and Cathy Brown, 64, were in a marina at Newcastle on a drizzly

wet evening when they discovered that the numbers they had been playing since

The National Lottery launched in 1994 had netted them the windfall.

The couple, who

have been sailing together for more than 30 years, decided to return home.

They spent two days sailing back to Ipswich

discussing their hopes and dreams for this next, very unexpected, but very

welcome, stage of their lives.

Richard, who had recently bought a

new phone, was ‘playing’ with the functionality and decided to download The

National Lottery app and check their numbers.

He said: ‘We

tend to buy a months’ worth of tickets in our local Sainsbury’s for the Lotto

draw so before we set out on our adventure around Britain, I had stocked up for

the first month.

‘As we were settling in for the evening in Newcastle I decided

to use the app I’d just downloaded as a bit of an experiment.

‘Cathy was looking

over my shoulder, first of all to see the app in action and then we both

realised that we had four, then five and then six of the numbers.

‘I turned to

my wife of 39 years and said, ‘you’re a multimillionaire!’ Despite our stiff

gin and tonic, we are still reeling from that particular status.’

Confirmation from Camelot

An excited call

to Camelot followed to verify the win, with plans made to see the Camelot

Winners’ Advisor back on dry land in Ipswich later in the week.

For Cathy the

trip back down has been perfect to help the couple crystalise their thoughts

and savour the incredible change in their fortunes.

She said: ‘We have been

sailing together for more than 30 years but I can honestly say I’ve never felt

anything on the water like it’s been for the last couple of days.

‘It’s been

magical to think about our hopes and dreams for the future, knowing that when

we get back we can make a difference to our lives but also those nearest and

dearest to us.’

While fine weather and being on the water are enough to make

any one smile, Richard and Cathy’s grins were just that bit brighter as they

knew a £6million nest egg was waiting for them when they got home.

Both retired

journalists, Richard and Cathy believe they have already been lucky in life and

are fortunate that by being careful with money they have been able to enjoy

their love of sailing, however like many people they did use to talk about what

life would be like if their numbers ever came up.

No plans to upsize their boat

While the numbers have indeed

come up in a big way, upsizing to a super yacht isn’t on the cards.

Richard added: ‘About eight years ago we downsized from a house in the

country to something smaller in the town so we could upsize our yacht, buying

40ft Brave in 2005.

‘While we could now truly upsize, we enjoy sailing together

without crew and if we went any bigger that wouldn’t be the case so while Brave

may be traded in for a newer model, for us, bigger is not going to be better.’

While the yacht

won’t get bigger the travel plans will. A visit to Cathy’s sister in Canada is

definitely on the cards as is a trip to see the Northern Lights. Of course

sailing adventures also rank highly on the new multimillionaires plans, the

pair are planning a charter holiday in warmer waters.

Cathy added: ‘I’m

still walking about in a bit of a daze at the change in our circumstances. I

never thought we would win the jackpot but I’m ever so glad we have!

‘While I

think our lives will change in many ways with a bigger house once more, nicer

cars and possibly a new yacht, I’m not daunted.

‘We have great friends and we

already had a great life before the win, this is simply the very nice,

top-of-the-range, icing on the cake.’

Richard and Cathy have

lived in Suffolk almost all their lives and despite the travel plans have no

intention of moving away for good.

They say they have a wonderful circle of friends and

Cathy keeps her hand in as editor of a quarterly sailing magazine, Cruising, so

when not on the ocean waves, their Ipswich life keeps them busy.

Richard and

Cathy play Lotto every Wednesday and Saturday using their own numbers. The winning ticket was bought in the

Sainsbury’s on Felixstowe Road in Ipswich and their winning numbers were 3, 5, 25, 33,

34 and 35.