Suffolk: How does it feel to be the richest people you know?
From nowhere, Adrian and Gillian Bayford have become the 13th richest people in East Anglia. How must it feel? That is the question Lynne Mortimer was asking herself as she went ot meet the lucky couple.
You can’t quite believe you are in the same room as two people who are �148.7million better off than they were last Thursday.
And it looks as if they can’t quite believe it either.
The press conference that introduced the media to the country’s second biggest EuroMillions winners also introduced the Haverhill couple to the media.
Banks of television cameras were lined up ready for their entrance and photographers had formed their own line of snappery along the front of the carefully arranged chairs in the spacious conference room at Down Hall Country House Hotel, just outside Bishop’s Stortford.
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A few rows back, I was hoping to get a clear view of Mr and Mrs Bayford as they walked into the perfect storm of flash photography.
When they walk into the room, with more confidence, one imagines, than they are feeling. They look just as they later say they are: “Just normal people” except they do not stop smiling.
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Adrian is wearing a purple, short sleeved shirt, jeans and sturdy brown shoes. Gillian is in a floor length, royal blue, sleeveless dress and smart flip-flops. Her well-styled hair has blonde highlights.
The dress, she tells me, is new. She wears small earrings but is otherwise unbedecked. There are no diamonds... yet.
Though they are not Suffolk by birth (she is Scottish; he Cornish) they have enormous affection for their adopted home town of Haverhill.
Has the enormity of their win sunk in? Probably not.
The couple stay in physical contact throughout and after the press conference. Adrian keeps his arm around the back of the chaise longue, behind his wife, protectively. When they walk, they hold hands. Each of them is the only person in the world who really knows what the other is going through.
Throughout their interview they stress the importance of first, being happy and second, of making other people happy. They know the difference between happiness and wealth and want to stay grounded. This time last week they were happy but not well off.
Today they are happy and rich and, in Adrian’s case, hot. It’s hard to stay cool under the lights of a dozen television cameras.
Their plans and their feeling are explored in an interview.
Gillian says she would like an Audi Q7 (prices start from around �40,000). Adrian says he’ll go for something little and chunky as “I’m a little, chunky guy”.
Later, outside on the lawns, I meet shopkeeper Sanjay Patel, who sold the winning lucky dip ticket to Adrian. I ask him to shake my hand... just in case a teeny bit of good fortune transfers itself to me.
Meanewhile, the photographers are shouting: “Give us a kiss!”. This is not addressed to me. They are encouraging Adrian and Gillian to kiss for the cameras.
One the things you really want to know when you meet big winners is whether they are nice people. You really hope that huge sum of money has gone to nice people. Well, it has. And they haven’t stopped smiling for an hour now.
One of the TV presenters delivering a line to camera. He says: “Adrian says they’re no different to a normal couple...”
In the background of the shot, Adrian is spraying the contents of a fourth bottle of champagne skyward.