A couple from Southend have revealed they were finally able to tie the knot after 30 years together – thanks to the National Lottery.

Tony and Deb Pearce were facing losing their dream bungalow in the town back in 2017 after Tony was forced to stop working due to ill-health.

They were unable to pay their mortgage and were set to sell their home in a bid to avoid it being repossessed.

But in the December of the same year, a big slice of luck came their way and meant they were not only able to save their home, but make it bigger and better.


Deb, who is now 61, said: “Tony had a massive cardiac arrest but, thanks to the amazing care he received from the NHS he recovered.

“However, the doctor told him he’d have to stop work.

“Suddenly our comfortable life was in tatters and the future looked very bleak, that is until Tony woke me up bleary eyed and said, ‘I think we’ve won the Lotto!.

“I laugh when I think about it now, this momentous life event and I just mumbled ‘it’s a scam’ and went back to sleep.

“Thankfully it wasn’t a scam.”

The £1m win meant the couple were able to pay off their mortgage and having been together for three decades, they were finally able to tie the knot and get married.

Tony, 69, described the wedding as “amazing” and has revealed the couple have also used the lottery win to upgrade their home, as well as buy a holiday home on the Norfolk coast.


He said: “I don’t think there’s a corner or cupboard in our home that hasn’t had some sort of renovation.

"The list is pretty endless, from a new driveway and kitchen, to replacement windows and a repaint throughout, but the results are wonderful.

“We’re just in the process of getting a new conservatory extension finished and garden landscaped, and I think we may just be there.”

Despite the happiness brought to Deb and Tony since winning the lottery, there have been some more difficult moments.

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Tony was once again struck down with ill-health just after the big wedding day but he insists he has no regrets and remains grateful for everything the lottery win has allowed he and Deb to achieve.

“Sadly, our honeymoon in Barcelona was rudely interrupted by my heart trying to steal the limelight again and I was in hospital for three weeks until it was safe to fly home.” Tony said.

“While it was an incredibly stressful time, especially for Debs who set up home in a hotel so she was close to the hospital, not having to worry about the financial implications of that extended stay was an absolute blessing.

He added: “I said at the time of our win that the hospital gave me my life back, while The National Lottery win had given our life together back and we intended to enjoy every second of it, and we sure have.”