Elaine Thompson, 64, from Killingworth, north Tyneside, works at Marks & Spencer, starting her shifts at 2am and finishing at 9am despite becoming a millionaire overnight.
Elaine won £2.7m 25 years ago, but she refused to give up her job stacking supermarket shelves, as she wanted to be a good role model to her children.
And despite being vulnerable due to her asthma, she continued to work throughout the coronavirus lockdown, starting her shifts at 2am.
Elaine said: ‘I did the 2am starts everyday so I’m in from 2am to 9am.
‘The company was fantastic. They let me go at 8.30am because I’m asthmatic and I’m vulnerable so I was not with any of the customers.
‘I was leaving the house at 1.15am every morning, I get up at midnight.
‘A couple of times during lockdown it was really really hard.
‘I was driving to work thinking ‘What am I doing?’
With inflation, the £2.7 million she won in 1995 would be worth around £5.2 million pounds today in 2020.
‘But I kept working all the way through. I could not have done furlough. I’m coming up to 65 next week but I’m not ready to retire yet.’
Elaine added: ‘I had two young children at the time when I made the decision.
‘It’s important that children see you working hard, and that we don’t get anything out of life unless you work hard for it.’
Elaine explained keeping working helped her remain grounded and when her children got older she helped them buy their first houses.
‘People ask me why I have not got a cleaner. If she came to clean, I would have cleaned the house before she got here.
‘For me, I was brought up to be a hard worker, I love to work.
‘I have got the best job in the world,’ she said.
Elaine added: ‘I absolutely love my job and just because I won the lottery, this didn’t make me want to give up work. I think it is all about balance.
‘I have continued to work but work hours which are more suited to me and with the remainder of the time I have been able to help out at and support charities which are close to me.’
Elaine said she and her husband do enjoy going on trips to Las Vegas though.
A nationwide survey of 2,000 workers in the UK showed people would still work and pursue their dream careers if they became millionaires.
And for people in Newcastle, the study suggests people wouldn’t change even after a potential lottery win, with 38% of those polled in the city saying if they were to win big, they would take the opportunity to learn a new trade.
Almost a quarter (24%) say they would focus on charity work and 20% say they would study for their pilot’s licence.
Camelot’s senior winners’ advisor, Andy Carter said: ‘2020 seems to have left many of us wanting more from our jobs, thinking about what our next career move might be or jacking it all in to do something that we really love.
‘Our passion for gardening and cooking in lockdown and months of home-schooling has clearly inspired the nation to consider a career overhaul and realise the importance of job satisfaction.
‘And the importance of our careers doesn’t appear to change even after a lottery win, with only a few looking to quit their jobs if they win.
‘Over half of National Lottery winners still work in some capacity and just under a quarter of them have started their own business after their win, turning their hand to floristry, hairdressing – we even have one that has invented their own spicy sauce!’
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