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A lottery-winning woman has quit her job to become a professional ghost hunter after initially thinking she'd only won £5.
Laura Hoyle, 40, and Kirk Stevens, 38, managed to successfully match all six numbers in the Set For Life draw in March 2021, securing themselves a staggering £10,000 per month for the next 30 years.
With the money rolling in every month, Laura 'immediately' quit her job and starting doing things she 'normally wouldn't have been able to do', such as investigating paranormal activity.
Laura and Kirk film their investigations, with Laura spending time afterwards to edit their footage.
"I’m getting better and better at editing and the other month one of our videos was voted by a top ghost hunting YouTuber, one of his videos of the week. It’s as if I’m getting paid to video edit, for the next 30 years," she said.
Laura and Kirk have been able to use their win to tick off a 'huge bucket list item' - visiting the National Justice Museum in Nottingham out-of-hours to investigate the building.
She explained there have already been 'many trips' to the museum and anticipates there being 'many more', with her day-to-day life now 'very relaxed' thanks to the win.
Laura explained: “I am so chilled about everything now... We are moving into a new house this month and it’s so stress free because I don't work now."
Though Laura decided immediately to give up her day job, Kirk plans to use his skills in engineering and carpentry to start a new business making 'paranormal investigation products'.
He explained: "I know what people want, I have the skill set and I now have the opportunity to make it work. I’m in my last year of my Masters degree in mechanical engineering. As Laura said, the win has enabled us to relax about bills. I have used the winnings to pay for the course. I want to continue working and progress which was the reason for the Masters."
It took Laura and Kirk almost two weeks to realise the enormity of their win, as despite receiving an alert after the draw to say there was 'good news' about her ticket, Laura assumed she had just won £5.
She even carried on entering Set For Life draws, and it wasn't until she got an email from The National Lottery requesting she check her account that she finally learned what she won.
"It was a Friday afternoon, I was working from home and I finally checked my account and saw there were lots of notifications there. It was then that the penny finally dropped that we should call Camelot fast," Laura recalled.
She continued: "I was physically shaking as I told the lady, ‘I think I’ve won the lottery.’ It was so weird saying those words. I kept thinking this must be a joke; it can’t be happening to us."
"And the ridiculous part was that, as I waited for Camelot to call me back, I still had to join work meetings online. I could hardly speak, let alone make any sense," she said.
Laura admitted it 'still hasn't really sunk in', while Andy Carter, senior winners’ advisor at The National Lottery, described Laura and Kirk as being 'just themselves' when they heard the big news, adding: "The beauty of their winning moment is that it was captured on camera.”
Laura and Kirk bought their £1.50 Set For Life Lucky Dip ticket online via the National Lottery app, securing their win with the numbers 9, 14, 19, 35, 37, and the Life Ball, 6.
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