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Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 13:33 GMT
Rugby treat for Lotto winners
Craig Pope, Claire Owen and baby Seren
Craig Pope and partner Claire Owen won on Christmas Eve
Last year, rugby fan Craig Pope would have been settling down to watch Wales play England in the Six Nations on the big screen at Torfaen rugby club.

On Saturday, he will be taking his seat at the Millennium Stadium, surrounded by his closest family and friends, to see the crunch game just yards away.

Mr Pope and his partner Claire Owen, who have a young daughter Seren, scooped 5m in the Christmas Eve draw.

When he won, he vowed to get the best seats possible to see Wales play live.

He said the match showed how much his life had changed.

"I am taking 14 family and friends who wouldn't normally have the opportunity to go," he said.

"I can't believe I will actually be there, enjoying the experience live - it means the world to me.

"I have never seen Wales before - I always thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I could never have believed I would get this chance to be able to treat to so many people."

Wales play England
Mr Pope has never seen Wales playing live
And it will not just be the England game he will be enjoying, he will be returning to Cardiff - complete with his entourage - for the Ireland match on 19 March.

Mr Pope, who is currently house-hunting, said that winning the lottery had changed his life.

"We could not ask for a better start... for our daughter's life," he said

Mr Pope bought the winning ticket in Tonyrefail, but did not check to see if they had won until the early hours of Christmas Day.

The couple were one of three jackpot winners in the special Christmas Eve draw, choosing the numbers 15, 19, 24, 36, 37 and 49.

More than 100 millionaires have been created by the Lotto in Wales since the draw began 10 years ago.

Young family in 5m Lotto win
30 Dec 04 |  Wales
Lottery jackpot still unclaimed
22 Dec 04 |  South East Wales
Farm worker's 2m Lotto win
27 Oct 04 |  South West Wales
9m lotto winner carries on working
09 Jan 04 |  North West Wales


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