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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 11:10 GMT
Lotto cabbie's wedding gift
Ken Graham and his wife Linda
Ken Graham and wife Linda had birthday dates for winning numbers
A lottery-winning cabbie from Tyneside is planning to spend a large slice of his windfall on a slap-up wedding for his daughter - in Hawaii.

Ken Graham admits he has always been "a bit of a dreamer".

His friends dubbed him "Mr Hollywood" because of his ambition to become a famous champion greyhound owner.

Mr Graham, 63, won more than £600,000 on the National Lottery in June and is now busy planning a dream wedding for his youngest daughter Paula in Hawaii.

And he concedes that one of his dreams - to become known as the oldest taxi driver in Gateshead - is now unlikely to be fulfilled.

He said: "We will be able to just do everything that you would dream of doing and not have to worry about looking at the credit card at the end of January.

"I have got nothing to worry about at all and I haven't got any debts.

"It's absolutely brilliant. It means you feel better and it makes everybody feel better. It makes you feel so relaxed."

The father-of-four and grandfather of 10, has splashed out on a sun-kissed ceremony for Paula, 26, to marry fiancé Spencer Donnely, 27, an RAF navigator from Manchester.

Stomach ulcer

The pair, who live near Basingstoke, Hampshire, where Spencer is based, decided to tie the knot after he returned home from serving in Basra two months ago.

Mr Graham and wife Linda, 56, were spending the Christmas holidays with his family in the North West where they were meeting Spencer's family for the first time.

Last Christmas Mr Graham woke up in the small hours of the morning for work, but made sure he was back home before lunch to open presents with the family.

The former print worker became a cab driver six years ago and would always volunteer for the Christmas shift to let others with young families take a day off except four years ago when he was in hospital over the festive period with a severe stomach ulcer.

He said: "This Christmas was different without any doubt. The best thing is my daughter is getting married."

The family are heading to Hawaii on January 2 with Paula and Spencer marrying in an outdoor ceremony before heading back to the North East for a reception nearer home.

Mr Graham has been off work for the last few months to plan the celebrations and supervise the building of a kitchen extension at his home.

After the wedding he and Linda are planning a holiday for themselves to Lanzarote - but Mr Graham says he may still return to life as a taxi driver in February.





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SEE ALSO:
Second Tyne cabbie wins Lottery
13 May 03  |  Tyne/Wear
Lottery cheque for Foxes fans
02 Apr 03  |  England
Last day for Lotto winner
13 Mar 03  |  England


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