Gay British Couple Wins More Than $1M in Lottery
Two men from South Wales are believed to be the the first gay couple in a civil ceremony to win a more than a million dollar lottery prize, the British. newspaper the Sun reported.
Ian Pearce, 45, and his partner Lyn Sexton, 41, received their £1 million (about U.S. $1,555,000) check last week at the same castle where they entered into a civil ceremony six years ago.
A civil ceremony, or civil partnership, is similar to a civil union in the U.S. The United Kingdom currently does not recognize marriage equality.
The couple came out to their friends and family two decades ago but shocked them once again with the announcement of their winnings.
"This isn't the first time we've shocked our families -- but they're fantastic and very happy for us. We love life and this will make it all the better," Sexton said.
Pink News reports that Pearce, a civil servant, and Ian, a physiotherapist, purchased the lottery ticket on a whim. The couple, who have been together for 16 years, found out they won the jackpot while spending the weekend in West Wales. By the time the pair returned home neighbors surrounded their home to congratulate them.
"You can't keep anything a secret round here -- everybody knew within minutes," Pearce said.
The couple is grateful for their massive prize but say they are not sure what they'll do with the money - besides splurge on traveling. Pearce and Sexton plan on taking their families on vacations to Egypt and Jamaica.
"It's an overwhelming feeling. Ian and I already feel lucky as we have a nice lifestyle and we've had the chance to travel the world together," Sexton said. "We're both going to go back to work and take a year to decide what we want to do with the money," he added.
Back in November 2010, it was reported that a gay Canadian couple won a $50 million lottery prize around the same time as their 30th anniversary.
Claude and Kurt Blanchette-Ebert from Vancouver bought the ticket in late October and took a few days to realize that they won the money.
"The first thing I said was 'holy shit,'" Kurt, 63, said.
Canadian law allowed the couple to take their winnings in a lump sum without having to pay taxes on the money.