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Couple win £2m lottery jackpot as son is given all-clear from cancer

John and Allison McDonald say ‘lifelong dreams came true in space of three days’

John and Allison McDonald celebrate their lottery win. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

John and Allison McDonald celebrate their lottery win. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

Last modified on Fri 3 Jan 2020 16.58 GMT

A couple who won a £2m lottery jackpot a few days before finding out that their teenage son was clear of cancer have said: “It is just like all of our lifelong dreams came true.”

John and Allison McDonald’s lucky dip ticket matched all six numbers to win the Lotto jackpot on 18 December.

Three days later, the couple from Stockton on Tees received the news that their 15-year-old son, Ewan, had been given the all-clear after being treated for cancer all year.

John said: “It is just like all of our lifelong dreams came true in the space of three days. What a start to 2020. Everyone always dreams of winning the lottery at Christmas and talks about how amazing this would be, but Allison and I never believed it would happen to us – and it has.

“And then to receive news that Ewan’s latest scans are all clear is just truly amazing. We are so thankful.”

Ewan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in May last year and underwent chemotherapy.

John, 62, a security officer who frequently worked 70-hour weeks, and Allison, 49, who worked in an opticians, have handed in their notice at work.

“This is just the most amazing feeling ever,” Allison said.

John described how he checked his ticket while having a hot drink at work. “As I continued to check, I realised I had matched all six. I was just in total shock,” he said. “My legs were trembling as I called Camelot to check that what I was seeing was in fact right.”

He told a news conference in North Yorkshire town of Yarm how he called his wife, who was at the dentist.

Allison said she saw a missed call on her phone.

“I just thought: ‘Oh no, why is he calling me. Something must be wrong, something terrible has happened, has something gone wrong with Ewan’,” she said. “Never did I believe when I called him back he would be telling me we had won the Lotto jackpot.

“It is fantastic that this win has not only given us the financial security to buy a lovely new family home, but also time. We can both now afford to stop work and spend time with our family making memories, something we could only have ever dreamed of doing.”

Ewan underwent six rounds of chemotherapy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, which meant he and Allison spent weeks away from the family home. The couple have two other children and three grandchildren.

They were expecting the results of his latest scan to come in the days before Christmas and while they could see his health was improving, they were still afraid there could be bad news before they got the all clear. “Ewan has coped very well, he has been very inspirational,” she said.

John and Allison McDonald say ‘lifelong dreams came true in space of three days’