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Single mum's £1.6m lottery win

Single mum Julie Styles is celebrating winning £1.6m on the lottery Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

A single mother from Essex who is celebrating a £1.6m jackpot win on the National Lottery has revealed that she was suffering from sleepless nights worrying about money.

Julie Styles, 46, from Stanford-Le-Hope, matched the winning numbers on April 14 but it was a week before she realised her good fortune.

The mother-of-two who works in Debenhams told a press conference: "I was in absolute shock. Like many people, money is really tight and I had just increased my hours at work to try to make ends meet."

Initially a shop assistant told her she had won £5,000 before the true extent of her winnings emerged.

"When I thought I'd won £5,000, I was so shocked and delighted I simply took the ticket and walked out without paying for my shopping," she said.

"My sister works at the Co-Op and the assistant manager rang her to say I hadn't paid for my shopping. She immediately thought it was because my card had been declined but the manager explained that I'd left in shock.

"In the end it was my sister who worked out how much I'd won - she called me to tell me I'd actually won £1.6 million. I was gobsmacked."

Ms Styles said she will buy her dream car, an Audi TT, and is hoping to enjoy a holiday

in the Caribbean - but the family will still enjoy a break at Butlins that they booked earlier in the year.

She also plans to help family members pay off their mortgages.

And although she will cut back her hours in the womenswear department at Lakeside

she insists that she will carry on working.

"I like the people there and would miss them. But I am looking forward to not working on Saturdays any more," she said.

She has used the same numbers - 1, 5, 15, 22, 26 and 42 - ever since the lottery began. They are based on birthdays and the year of her mother's birth.