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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 April, 2004, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
LA spree for EuroMillions winner
EuroMillions lottery winner Marion Richardson
Ms Richardson is Britain's first EuroMillions winner
A mother-of-five who scooped a 16.7m EuroMillions jackpot, wants to go on a shopping spree like the character in her favourite film - Pretty Woman.

But Marion Richardson, 57, from Winlaton, Tyneside, says she intends to buy her parents a new carpet first.

The divorced ex-Royal Mail worker won the biggest ever EuroMillions prize.

She said she wanted to splash out on a Los Angeles shopping spree, like the Pretty Woman film character played by Julia Roberts.

But before she jets off to the US, Ms Richardson said she is to treat her 80-year-old father Norman and 78-year-old mother, who is also called Marion, to a new carpet.

Ahead of a press conference at a top hotel in London's Knightsbridge, Ms Richardson said through Camelot: "I just love the film Pretty Woman and have always wanted to go shopping like Julia Roberts did on Rodeo Drive."

She revealed she was at home knitting when she decided to check her numbers after her right hand began to itch - traditionally a sign of luck and money "coming in".

I ran right up to the TV screen just to check that it really was the EuroMillions numbers
Marion Richardson
She added: "My right hand was really itching and I had to stop to scratch it.

"I remembered the superstition that if your right palm itches you are meant to come into money so I decided to check my EuroMillions numbers.

"I put on Teletext and just stared at the numbers. I recognised all of them straight away as they are my children's birthdays.

"I checked them against my ticket and realised I had the lucky star numbers as well."

Ms Richardson, who lives with her 25-year-old daughter Kaye, admitted she could not stay still when waiting to find out if she had really won.

She said: "I ran right up to the TV screen just to check that it really was the EuroMillions numbers.

"I called my daughter Kaye and she checked them for me as well.

Family joke

"I could not stay still and was wandering around the house until she confirmed my win."

She began phoning around her family, including her other children Julie, 37, Colin, 34, Paul, 39 and her youngest son, 32-year-old Scott.

Ms Richardson revealed that joker Scott did not believe her at first.

She said: "He is always playing jokes on me, calling me up and putting on accents, so when I phoned him he thought I was getting my own back and told me to stop joking."

She picked the winning numbers 1, 4, 10, 19 and 23 using the dates her children were born and the two Lucky Star numbers 2 and 8 were picked at random.

It is the first time the jackpot has been won in the UK since EuroMillions was launched in February, with other winners coming from France and Spain.

Friday's winning ticket has landed the sixth richest prize in British lottery history, with the biggest jackpot being the 22.6m won by Mark Gardiner and Paul Maddison, of Hastings, East Sussex, in June 1995.





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The BBC's Robert Hall
"Marion wants a new house with room for every generation"



SEE ALSO:
French punter wins Euro lottery
14 Feb 04  |  Business
Can a lottery win make you happy?
12 Feb 04  |  Magazine
Lotto cabbie's wedding gift
26 Dec 03  |  Tyne/Wear


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