Get to know Ipswich's newest millionaire — 'bubbly' dinner lady Karen

Jeff and Karen Dakin have been married for 35 years 

Karen Dakin lives in Ipswich with her husband of 35 years Jeff - Credit: Camelot UK

A hardworking Ipswich mum who's always lived "hand to mouth", putting her husband and son first, will finally be able to buy a house and go on holiday with her £1million Lottery win.

Karen Dakin, who has worked throughout the pandemic at her local school, matched five main numbers and the Bonus Ball on Saturday, March 13, cashing in a six-figure win.

However, the 53-year-old won't be hanging up her kitchen ladle and plans to keep her job at a local school as she loves working with children.

"We have always lived hand to mouth," she said. "My parents were hard working but we never went without as children and now everything I do is for my son Callum and husband Jeff — they're the centre of my world.

"I took on my job as a dinner lady eight years ago so I could be home for tea every day as a mum and I've been going in during the pandemic for the key workers' children."

Jeff & Karen Dakin Nacton, Ipswich

Karen realised she'd won while watching the national draw on telly on Saturday night - Credit: Camelot UK

The family has overcome many hardships, such as when 60-year-old Jeff suffered a serious stroke in 2018 and spent a month recovering in Ipswich Hospital, where he works as an NHS storeman.

Money has always been tight for the couple, meaning they've never managed to buy a home or take their 14-year-old  son on holiday.

Karen plans to change that now she's a millionaire and they've wasted no time beginning house viewings in east Ipswich and plan to visit Disneyland Florida next summer.

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They won't be spending a 'crazy' amount of money on their first owned property but the mum admitted: "I want an en-suite bathroom and a lovely fitted kitchen so we can entertain guests and enjoy it, as we've never had the space to do that."

Jeff and Karen Dakin have been married for 35 years 

With their huge Lottery win the family will be buying a house for the first time and plan to go on holiday - Credit: Camelot UK

Karen — who describes herself as outgoing, bubbly, very easy to get on with — is keen for restrictions to lift so she can see her friends again and added: "I'm looking forward to going out for a drink and letting me hair down again.

"I'd love a pamper day and get my hair done, I haven't had it done for years now. I'd  love to spoil myself a little bit — maybe I'll do a spa day and take a few close friends."

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