On this day: November 26, 1994 – Four lucky people become first National Lottery millionaires

On this day 23 years ago the first National Lottery millionaires were made, kick-starting an era of nationwide dreaming and project funding.

Four lucky winners received £1,760,966 of the £7m jackpot to make history in the second week of the lottery draw.

The first week fell short of producing its first millionaire, with a jackpot of £22m being won by eight winners, who each claimed £839,254, alongside the Queen, who won £10.

Since its inauguration, the National Lottery has funded over 510,000 projects and made over 4,600 more millionaires.

Camelot, who own the National Lottery, teamed up with France and Spain’s equivalent companies, Francaise des Jeux and Loterias y Apuestas del Estado, to form Euromillions in 2004.

MM is marking the anniversary of the first Camelot millionaires by remembering some of the lottery’s finest Greater Manchester success stories.

Dean Hardman

The landlord of The Crown Inn, Rochdale, won £6.25m in 2006 and has since invested in his beloved Bury FC, buying players and paying wages to improve the club.

He also bought a racehorse, naming it Stanley Rigby in honour of his grandad and then purchased more after claiming he “got the bug”.

Dean and his wife, Stella, also donated thousands to charity and sponsored promising local athletes, while doing voluntary work in their community.

Stella still continued to enter the lottery, even after the win.

Brian Caswell

At 74 years old, Brian Caswell won £25m through Euromillions and established his own charity, The Caswell Family Trust.

The retired engineer claims he has spent over half of his winnings on family and charity projects, while he still lives in his home town of Bolton.

The Greater Manchester grandad also hired a private jet on two occasions to take his family away on holiday.

The Millennium Quarter

The National Lottery fund invested £20m developing the area outside Manchester Arndale to mark the new millennium.

Cathedral Visitor Centre and Urbis, now the National Football Museum, were all built with the money, while Cathedral Green was relandscaped.

The new buildings added a modern edge to an already significant Exchange Square, which was developed in the aftermath of the IRA bomb in 1996.

The Lowry

Opened in 2000, the National Lottery contributed £19.4m to the construction of The Lowry in 1997.

The money was used to build the 440 seat Quays Theatre and the 1730 seat Lyric Theatre, which was designed by Ferrari and still contains the largest stage outside West London.

Since the investment, Pier Eight, a restaurant and bar, has been added to provide pre-show dining at the construction cost of £3m.

The Lyric theatre will host Elf: The Musical between November 25-January 14. 

Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.

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