Most lottery winners dream about giving up our day job and living a life of comfort and luxury.
But shop worker Elaine Thompson refuses to give up her beloved job stacking shelves and is doing it 25 years after her big bucks win.
Despite her asthma, she continued to carry on her job as a key worker throughout the coronavirus lockdown, starting her shifts at 2am reports Chronicle Live.
The Marks & Spencer worker 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?’
“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 and husband Derek discovered they were millionaires in December 1995, when their two children, Gary and Karen were only five and 10 years old. Elaine and Derek will celebrate 25 years since their lottery win this year, on the same date they celebrate their wedding anniversary.
She decided she would carry on working regardless of her bank balance, so she could be a role model to her children.
Elaine, who lives in Killingworth, said: “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.”
She hoped to inspire her children to be the first in the family to go to university, which they later achieved.
The couple also helped Gary, 30, and Karen, 35, buy their first houses.
One of the first things they splashed out on after winning was a new car – they bought a purple Ford Fiesta and later they bought three racehorses.
But the early supermarket shifts four days a week help to keep Elaine grounded.
Will Elaine be giving up her job soon though?
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.”