The Sheffield couple who won £7.6m on the lottery and gave it away

Who hasn't played out a scene like this in their dreams? One cold night in January, 18 years ago, a pair of ordinary grandparents settled down on the sofa to watch the National Lottery.

Ray and Barbara Wragg loved their little Saturday night routine: they played five lines, picked at random, using the registration plates of cars parked in the street on their way back from the supermarket where they bought their tickets.

Then they'd discuss how they would spend their winnings. Barbara rarely went beyond swapping their ex-council house for a nice big property with posh bay windows, where she could sit and look out over the garden.

On the sofa with them that night was their four-year-old granddaughter, Danielle, who they were babysitting.

Ray and Barbara Wragg (pictured celebrating), from Sheffield, won £7.6million on the lottery having played six numbers at random every Saturday night up until then 

Ray, now 80, remembers: 'I told her: 'Cross your fingers, cross your hands, cross your legs for luck.' When I asked her what she'd like us to buy her if we won, she said: 'A black horse with a green tail.'

'I was busy explaining why that might be a bit tricky when Barbara started saying: 'Ray, we've got three numbers . . . Ray, we've got four numbers . . .'

The Wraggs, from Sheffield, went on to match six numbers and became the sole winners of the £7.6 million National Lottery jackpot that night.

Pictures of them — Barbara with her fresh blow-dry and both dressed in matching Sheffield United football shirts, excitedly spraying a bottle of regulation National  Lottery champagne at the cameras — were splashed across the newspapers.

And that is usually the last we hear of lottery winners.

They retreat, with their millions, to lives of splendour, greed, self-indulgence and vigilantly guarded secrecy. 

Now and then, of course, some emerge from the shadows when things go horribly wrong.

But that wasn't the Wraggs' story.

After they won, they devoted the next 18 years to spending their money on others. The Wraggs are pictured presenting a £1,000 cheque to a Sheffield community centre attacked by vandals

After they won, they devoted the next 18 years to spending their money on others. The Wraggs are pictured presenting a £1,000 cheque to a Sheffield community centre attacked by vandals

Immediately after their win, Ray, a retired roofer, remembers Barbara commenting that £7.6 million was far too much money for one couple. 

And so, led by her, they devoted the next 18 years to spending their money on others.

They gave away a total of £5.5 million to charitable causes and, by the time Barbara died last week, aged 77, from sepsis, she had gained the nickname 'Lotto Angel' and touched the lives of thousands.

Even in recent months, while she was in very poor health, Ray remembers Barbara was still finding ways of using their fortune to make others happy. 

'There was a story in the local paper of a young boy who'd saved up to buy himself a new bike and had ridden to the local park, where it was stolen,' says Ray. 

'Barbara turned to me and said: 'I know what we should do. '

They tracked down his parents' address, drove round there and presented the awestruck family with a new mountain bike.

'I'd originally bought it for myself, but I'd ridden it so little, the treads on the tyres were still intact. Barbara said this young lad deserved it, so we took it round to him.

'The smile on that boy's face — well, you can't put a price on a thing like that. There's nothing that pleased Barbara more than bringing joy to others.'

He adds: 'She was so kind and caring. She was naturally like that, even before the lottery win. Only a few weeks ago, Barbara woke in the morning and said: 'Ray, we're not dreaming this, are we?' '

Hundreds attended her funeral in Sheffield this week. Each had their own story of this ordinary woman's goodness and generosity.

Of course, the couple did treat themselves after their win — and deservedly so. 

They bought a new Range Rover and Barbara got her £415,000 house, in a nice part of town, with its bay windows. They also wanted to pay off their three children's mortgages.

Barbara Wragg, 77, and her husband Ray (pictured centre) are pictured helping a group of World War Two veterans on a trip to Italy, to honour fallen comrades, 2003

Barbara Wragg, 77, and her husband Ray (pictured centre) are pictured helping a group of World War Two veterans on a trip to , to honour fallen comrades, 2003

After securing the futures of Mark, 54, a joiner, Shaun, 48, a university supervisor, Amanda, 44, a children's hospital worker, and their six grandchildren, the pair set about identifying ways they could help their community.

First on the list was the planned teenage cancer unit at Sheffield's Weston Park Hospital — a local cause close to the couple's heart.

Daughter Amanda had been treated for Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, when she was 17. 

The unit was struggling for funding. 'We called and said we wanted to give whatever they needed to get things moving,' remembers Ray.

Both the unit and the Sheffield Children's Hospital received £10,000 each.

Before taking early retirement, Barbara had spent 22 years as a night shift support worker in the urology ward of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

After seeing first-hand how having only one bladder scanner caused pain for patients who had to wait for its availability, she spent £9,000 on another. 

But it's the smaller cases that perhaps best demonstrate the thought that the couple put into each and every donation — and illustrate why Barbara leaves a legacy of kindness and hope.

Rather than donating one vast amount, they spread their good fortune as far and wide as they could.

For six years running, they paid for 250 inner-city children from Park Hill school to attend a Christmas pantomime. 

They also paid £480 a year for 12 years to send 12 pupils and their teachers to Whirlow Hall Farm, a working farm in Sheffield, allowing them to experience the delights of the countryside.

The couple also bought 30 TV sets so each child in a local hospice could watch television in bed.

Ray recalls Barbara's visit to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital breast clinic in 2010.

Lottery winners Ray and Barbara Wragg (pictured in wigs) bring early Christmas cheer to residents at Park Hill Lodge in Rotherham 

Lottery winners Ray and Barbara Wragg (pictured in wigs) bring early Christmas cheer to residents at Park Hill Lodge in Rotherham 

While waiting for her appointment, she noticed a pot for donations and, during her consultation, told the specialist she would like to write a cheque. Ray says: 'He said: 'Barbara, what do you mean?' 

And she told him

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