Lotto winners’ joy at paying for daughter’s IVF baby and becoming grandparents

An “ecstatic” couple have revealed how their £1million lottery win “made their lives” after it helped them become grandparents.

Mark, 57, and Ruth Chalmers, 59, used some of their winnings to fund their daughter Natalie’s IVF treatment after she had tried for six years to conceive.

Their daughter had “given up hope” of becoming a mum after suffering fertility problems and enduring five operations.

The “devastated” 31-year-old was unable to get IVF on the NHS as her partner, Nigel Armitage, 35, had children.

But her dreams came true after her parents scooped £1million in the EuroMillions raffle in February 2018.

Today, Mr and Mrs ­Chalmers, of Halifax, West Yorks, said their first grandchild was “better than winning the lottery”.

The first decision they made after their win was to fund her £8,000 IVF treatment. Two months later she was pregnant after her first attempt and on December 10 last year Koby was born.

Ruth, a former wages clerk at Tesco, said. “I never thought I’d have a grandchild. It was heartbreaking to watch what Natalie went through for six years. I’ve seen her in tears and in pain.

“If I could have done, I’d have had one for her, but it wasn’t possible. I thought it was so unfair that because of where she lived she couldn’t get IVF on the NHS. I never thought the day would come I’d be able to take that pain away.”

Ruth remembers the call that changed her life, saying: “I was in China with my niece on holiday and Natalie called to say, ‘I can’t believe it, the first time and it’s worked – you’re going to be a grandma’. We both burst into tears.”

Dad Mark said Natalie couldn’t stop crying when she called him.

He said: “In between tears I heard, ‘I’m pregnant’. I asked her, ‘Why the hell are you crying?’.”

Mark had just taken early retirement after 33 years with Mars when he won.

They were planning to take money out of his own pension to pay for IVF.

Natalie, who suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, said she was distraught after doctors had told her she may need to have her tubes removed.

“The lottery has made all our lives. I’m so happy,” Natalie said.

“I had about five operations. They made holes in my ovaries to see if that helped.

“I thought I’d never have children. So when it happened I was in total shock.

"It didn’t really sink in until he was born and then I cried and thought, ‘he’s mine’.”

Mark told how he believes winning the lottery is “fate” and revealed he left his ticket in his wallet for about a month before he checked it.

He works as a landscape gardener three days a week with his brother and Ruth cares for her grandson.

Both daughters, Natalie and Leanne, 34, were given a house by their parents, who bought themselves a home with 2.8 acres for their daughters’ “pension pots”.

“It’s every dad’s dream to see their kids sorted,” Mark said.

“My grandson has enriched my life.”

The couple joined 18 winners from Yorkshire and their partners to mark the National Lottery’s 25th birthday.

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