Express & Star

What a lotto millionaires there are in the West Midlands!

Birmingham is the luckiest city in the country for lottery winners, with 205 new millionaires created since the lottery began.

Kathy Garrett of the National Lottery with £3.67 million winner Celeste Coles on the secret roof garden at Birmingham Library

Latest figures from National Lottery operator Camelot show the city has also been getting luckier in recent months, with 35 new millionaires being created over the past three years. That is almost one new millionaire every month.

Wolverhampton also has one of the best success rates in the UK, having the 10th best rate of lottery millionaires per head of population.

The figures show that the 'B' postcode area – which also includes Halesowen, Tamworth and most of Sandwell – has seen 205 winners receiving £1 million or more since the National Lottery was launched in 1994.

That places it well ahead of second-placed Belfast, which has had 174 winners over the same time, and third-place Glasgow, which has had 158.

One in 5,890 people living in the WV postcode area is a lottery millionaire, putting Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas in the Top 10 nationally for jackpot winners.

One of the West Midlands' newest lottery millionaires is retired Birmingham schoolteacher Celeste Coles, who won £3.67 million in July last year.

Kathy Garrett of the National Lottery with £3.67 million winner Celeste Coles

To celebrate her home city's status as the UK lottery-winning capital, she joined Camelot's Kathy Garrett on the rooftop garden of Birmingham library.

Celeste, 69, only bought her winning Euromillions ticket 10 minutes before the draw, and her youngest daughter Nicola was convinced it was a scam when she telephoned her with the news.

Level-headed Celeste celebrated the news with a glass of water.

"I was on my own at home, so I rang my daughter who lives in London," she says.

"I asked her to go onto the website and read the numbers back to me, and as she went through them one by one, I ticked them off.

"I knew I had won something reasonably big, but thought it would be about three-thousand pounds odd.

"I asked my daughter to check the amount, and she said 'Mum, it's a scam'.

"I tried to ring Camelot, but I got an answer message saying I would have to call back in the morning. I got about 15 minutes' sleep that night."

Josie and Mike Timmins from Dudley, won more than £2 million on the National Lottery.

Celeste, who taught home economics at several schools across the West Midlands, says a number of former pupils had congratulated her on Facebook, and spoke of their fondness for her from their school days.

Her biggest indulgence to date has been a holiday home in Spain, which she says will help her family to create memorable moments together.