Furloughed teenager’s huge National Lottery win is dream come true

A 17-year-old apprentice lifeguard who won the National Lottery was told about the windfall by her dad in the middle of the night and was delighted to find out it was a dream come true the next morning.

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Harmony Dawes, from Brighton, matched five numbers in the Set for Life draw on (March 26) making her the winner of £10,000 a month for a year. She came down for breakfast the next morning and said: ”I dreamt I won the lottery last night.”

To which her dad replied: “Don’t you remember last night, you’ve actually won the lottery, you’ve won £10,000 every month for a whole year.”

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Harmony had been fast asleep and had nodded back off without thinking about what her dad was telling her.

She said: “I’m not sure how I’d forgotten dad bursting into my room in the early hours of Friday morning screaming that I’d won the lottery but it really felt like a dream.

“In fact, even now it’s been confirmed, it still feels like a dream. Every time I think about my win I’m waiting for someone to tell me it’s one big joke, it’s ridiculous, this sort of thing doesn’t happen to people like me.

“Then again, maybe it does!”

Like much of the country, Harmony has been at home since the lockdown was announced, and furloughed from her lifeguard apprenticeship, she was struggling to keep upbeat.

She said: “My mum is a key worker, working with Brighton’s homeless, so I know how lucky I am to have a safe place to live during lockdown but it’s still tough to keep positive.

“Although we can’t do much with the win at the moment, just knowing something good has happened has made those around me happier and a little more upbeat and that’s got to be a good thing.”

Thinking of good times ahead, Harmony’s first ‘must do’, when the lockdown is lifted and it’s safe to travel again, is to take her whole family on holiday.

She said: “Last year we went to Tenerife, we all agreed we’d love to go again but next time stay in a villa so we’ve been saving a little bit every month ever since with the plan that in a few years we could.

“Now, because of a lump of luck, we can all go sooner once it is safe to travel and nobody has to save for it.”

Harmony credits her late uncle for the win.

She said: “Sadly I never met my uncle, my dad’s brother, he died before I was born but he’s been an influence in my life, possibly because I’m really close to my dad, in fact it was dad who picked up the winning ticket for me earlier in the week while doing our essential shop.

“Dad knows my numbers because the ones I use for my Set for Life ticket are ones that meant something to my uncle, plus his birthday and his age when he died. Maybe this is him giving us all something to look forward to when we’ve all got through this.”

In addition to giving Harmony’s entire family something to look forward to, the win will also put the 17-year-old back in the saddle. Harmony said,

“I’ve been really lucky and ridden since I was two. Last year I sold my horse hoping to get something bigger but I never seemed to have enough money, especially on an apprenticeship wage.

“Bizarrely, the night before I discovered the win, my best friend and I were messaging and even said we needed to find a way to get money quick so I could get another horse. Perhaps my uncle was listening, now I can go virtual horse shopping and know I will have enough money to be able to keep it too.”

In the current situation, National Lottery players are encouraged to play online at national-lottery.co.uk or by downloading the National Lottery app, and to only buy their tickets in retail as part of their essential shop. Playing online via the website or app means that your ticket is checked, and you get an email notification if you win a prize.

You can also scan your retail tickets on the National Lottery app to check if you’re a winner.

Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £300M will be used to support the most vulnerable in communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. By playing The National Lottery, £30M is raised every week on average by National Lottery players for projects big and small across the country. Hundreds of millions of pounds will be distributed to charities and local voluntary organisations over the next few months to help support people through the Covid-19 crisis - from helping support food banks, to causes that combat loneliness and isolation, support for the elderly and projects that support health in the community.

Harmony’s winning ticket was bought at Morris Neighbourhood Stores on Widdicombe Way in Brighton, and her winning numbers were four, seven, 11, 24, 29.

Set For Life from The National Lottery costs £1.50 per line to play, draws take place every Monday and Thursday and the top prize is £10k every month for 30 years.

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