Canada’s oldest Lotto millionaires: RAF veteran, 87, weeps as he scoops $18m jackpot after playing the Lottery since it began 25 years ago having told his two daughters it was ‘just a matter of time’ before he won
A grandfather and RAF veteran broke down in tears today as he celebrated a $18million Lotto win that finally arrived after years of telling his wife and children that it ‘was just a matter of time’ before they hit the jackpot.
Dennis, 87, and Shirley Banfield, 83, became the oldest ever lottery winners when they finally matched six numbers on a Lucky Dip after nearly 30 years of trying, having played three times a week since it began in 1994.
The electrician, who also served in the British Army, revealed that in the months before the life-changing win his wife had even pleaded with him to stop buying Lotto tickets as ‘they never won anything’.
But a resolute Mr Banfield continued to play every week, even forcing his wife to buy tickets from the local newsagents on his behalf when he was in hospital over Christmas to undergo a knee operation.
At a press conference today, an emotional Mr Banfield said he had been buying tickets every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for 25 years as he hoped to make his daughters Tina, 54, and Karen, 51, ‘financial secure forever’.
The grandfather checked the winning ticket on Sunday and when his wife of 60 years and said ‘who’d have those numbers?’ he replied: ‘I do’, causing Mrs Banfield to ‘go berserk’.
Shirley said the family celebrated the win by going out for a meal at a carvery, which she described as ‘nothing special’, and when she told her granddaughter about the win, she replied: ‘Gran, it’s not April Fool’s Day.’
Mr Banfield said he and his wife were in no rush to leave the family home in Bristol that they have lived in for half a century, but he was ‘quite tempted’ by a chauffeur-driven car because of his ‘dodgy knee’.
The couple, who are grandparents to Karen’s two children and Tina’s three stepchildren, say they may eventually downsize and buy a bungalow, after recently applying for a free council stair lift.
The elderly couple said the windfall would be split three ways, with each daughter taking a third of the prize money. Lotto organisers
Camelot confirmed to MailOnline that the couple were the oldest ever winners of a prize fund of more than $1million.
The family said the shock win would help them travel to international sporting fixtures, buy new cars and enjoy a stress-free future.
Speaking of the win, Mr Banfield, of Winterbourne, a large village on the north side of Bristol, said: ‘Shirley went berserk, she went flying up in the air.
‘Tina thought her mum had fallen over, and said: “Has mum had a fall?” I had the ticket in my hand for all of five minutes and didn’t see it again all day.’
The couple met on a blind date and might now leave their three-bedroom house in the village where they have lived for nearly 57 years.