Couple Wins More Than $1M to Build Their Dream Home

  • A couple who won more than $1 million in the lottery was able to renovate their dream house. 
  • Andrew Cunliffe took home his 2016 winning scratch card and proposed to Natalie.  
  • The prize money was used to renovate a 1930s house that had been inhabited by squatters.

A couple who won £1 million (nearly $1.4 million) in the lottery and got engaged the same day used their winnings to buy and transform a dilapidated 1930s house into their dream home.

Andrew Cunliffe and Natalie Cunliffe first met 10 years ago, while they were working at the Blackpool Tower. Andrew, a contractor, purchased a scratch card in 2016. This would have a profound impact on their lives. 

“I was at a play center with my daughter,”Natalie, 43, shared her story with Insider “He just rang me and said I need to get home.”

 “I just felt sick, I thought he’d lost his job,”She continued.

Natalie and Andrew Cunliffe sitting on the couch of their renovated 1930s home.

It was a life-changing scratchcard.

Oli Scarff/Courtesy Of Camelot

Andrew presented the scratch card to Natalie upon her return from work. At first, Natalie didn’t understand what it meant but when it finally clicked, another unexpected thing happened — Andrew proposed.

“We’d been together a good few years but he wanted to wait until we knew we could afford to get married,” Natalie said.

Despite all the excitement there was not a single discussion about the best way to spend the money.

“You always have that conversation of if we win the lottery, this is what we would do. When it actually happens it’s completely different,” Natalie said. “I was in my late 30s so you’ve got to kind of make that work for you and your family.”

They paid off their mortgage, completed renovations on the semi-detached house that they lived in, and established trusts for their children, now age 7 and 3. Natalie saw a 1930s-era house while driving to school and decided to make the move.

A before of the house being renovated (left) and a photo of Andrew working on the construction of the home (right).

Andrew was responsible for the majority of renovations after COVID-19.

Oli Scarff/Courtesy Of Camelot

“This house looked really nice and you could tell no one lived there, it was all overgrown and you could see that some of the things were boarded up,”She said. Andrew and she noticed that the house had a for-sale sign. They went along with 30 others to the open house. 

“I walked in and I was like, ‘I can see the potential in this house.’ Squatters had been in it, but it wasn’t horrendous,”She said. “You could hear all the people whispering exactly the same thing and I’m like, ‘You’re not having it!'”

They submitted a sealed bid which was accepted at 2018’s end. While some may think the couple has extraordinary luck, Natalie says that they are lucky. She claimed that they continued to have the best luck. “worst luck”The house. 

An interior shot of the 1930s house bought by the Cunliffe's in 2018.

Natalie fell in love the original features of this house, including the stained glass windows.

Oli Scarff/Courtesy Of Camelot

Due to money owed, the previous owner was in legal trouble and they were unable to obtain the keys until 2019, eight years later.

“We could have pulled out at any time but I was so in love with it, I couldn’t walk away,”She said.

The coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020. Andrew was the one who did the majority of the work. “We didn’t really see him for the best part of the year,” Natalie said. 

When the major renovations were complete in 2021, the family moved into their new home. Their four children now have their own ensuites and can enjoy a playroom. 

The kitchen at the newly renovated 1930s home of the Cunliffe's.

The kitchen has undergone a complete transformation.

Oli Scarff/Courtesy Of Camelot

Major changes included the flipping of the staircase because it was located on two levels. However, they wanted to keep the most important historic features of their property that they first fell in love. These included the stained glass windows as well as the rose-colored ceilings. 

Natalie stated that the house is almost complete. “there’ll always be a job for Andrew.”

Andrew still has a habit of returning home with a scratchcard. 

“He’s very hopeful because it can happen twice,” Natalie said. 

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