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'Spend, spend, spend' Viv Nicholson exhibition opens

Viv Nicholson after winning the pools in 1961 Credit: PA

An exhibition on the life of Viv Nicholson, one of the country's most famous pools winners, has opened at Castleford Museum.

More than 50 years ago she won a fortune worth £5 million at todays prices. But Viv famously vowed to "spend, spend,spend" and within five years the money was gone.

With coal miner husband Keith, vivacious Viv then just 25, was true to her word and the poverty-stricken couple blew the £152,000 fortune within five years on holidays, US cars, designer clothes and boozy parties.

Good times disappeared with the money and after Keith died aged just 27 when his blue Jaguar careered off the A1 in 1965, Viv went bankrupt after landed with a large tax bill.

She left the ranch bungalow complete with swimming pool and returned to a terraced house in her native Castleford. She married five times in total, never regretted spending her fortune and found peace when she became a Jehovah's Witness over 30 years ago.

No regrets: Viv Nicholson

Viv's story inspired a BBC TV drama and a West End musical - and when she died, aged 79, in 2015 - her death made national and international news. Even the prestigious New York Times ran a lengthy obituary in its paper and online of the iconic Yorkshire woman.

Memorobilia on display

The exhibition at Castleford Museum has been put together by her son Howard. It includes a range of memorabilia including some of her glamorous dresses and replica of the coupon with a box that says "tick if no publicity" - which was obviously ignored.