Why £18million Lottery winners are staying in £66-a-night budget hotel

They may have scooped a huge £18million fortune on the lottery earlier this year, but the UK’s oldest jackpot winners have been in modest surroundings over recent months.

Dennis Banfield, 87, and wife Shirley, 83, have been living in a £66-a-night hotel for four months – because their home near Bristol is being refurbished.

The couple say they have no intention of moving out of their family home in Winterbourne, where they have lived for 77 years.

And they hope to be back in there in time for Christmas, Bristol Live reports.

The modest three-bedroom property, which they bought for just £2,000 in 1961, is now worth £316,000 – but the thrifty couple say they have no plans to move anywhere else.

“We decided to stay in the house and just have the whole of the inside of it completely redone,” Shirley said.

“We’ve been there for 57 years now. We know the area, the house is not overlooked, it’s got a lovely big driveway.

“We’ve gone back to see it as it’s been done up.

“There’s still a bit of a way to go on it, but we’re hoping to move back in within the next fortnight – we’ll definitely be back in in time for Christmas.”

The house still has a decorator’s van parked nearby and skip outside finishing the renovations off.

The couple, who met on a blind date, have given a lot of their money away to charity.

Some of it has gone to community projects, the community association and to the children’s hospital while a portion of it has gone to their daughters Tina, 55, and Karen, 52.

Shirley added: “They have both bought new houses with their share of the money.

“It means a lot to us to know they are looked after.”

When they won the cash, RAF veteran Dennis broke down in tears after years of telling his wife and children “it was just a matter of time” before they snagged the jackpot.

He revealed that in the months before the life-changing win, his wife had even pleaded with him to stop buying Lotto tickets as “they never won anything”.

But a resolute Dennis continued to play every week, even forcing his wife to buy tickets from the local newsagents on his behalf when he was in hospital over Christmas to undergo a knee operation.

At the press conference in February, an emotional Dennis said he had been buying tickets every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for 25 years as he hoped to make his daughters Tina, 54, and Karen, 51, financially secure for the future.

Dennis served with the British Army in Holland, Germany and Italy and later flew with the RAF in Egypt.

He went on to become an electrician and worked for 40 years at South West Electricity Board.

Shirley, meanwhile, worked in local government before raising her daughters, as well as being a member of the church choir.

The family celebrated the extraordinary win at the time by going to the local carvery.

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