WHEN Maxine Coleman used to stick a Find the Ball cheque for £15 on her fridge door, she remembers telling her then young children how one day it would be the big one.
Now after 48 years of playing the competition she can finally say “I told you so”, after scooping the jackpot of £18,000.
The ecstatic grandmother of six broke into tears when she was told the news, barely managing to ask: “Are you sure it’s me?”
Not even when Maxine, 68, was handed a bottle of champagne to celebrate the windfall did she really believe it.
“I was just pegging the washing out and threw the basket in the air when I heard, it is just absolutely fabulous. I still can’t take it in,” she said.
Born and raised in Southampton, Maxine now lives in St Denys with husband Jeff with whom she will celebrate 50 years of marriage next year.
She said the family which includes her four children, Spencer, Darren, Lorraine and Kerry, could look forward to a bumper Christmas.
“We will have a real good one without having to look at our pennies,”
Maxine, who has worked at Portswood School as a dinner lady and cleaner for 30 years, added: “You have to keep going if you can I think. I don’t know what I would do if I stopped working, it gives you a reason to get up in the morning and I absolutely love the children.”
Maxine said she was looking forward to telling Jeff, who has also been sceptical about her chances of winning in the past.
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She said: “Jeff said to me that I wouldn’t win so I am going to really stretch it out before I tell him that we have.”
As far as spending her winnings goes, Maxine is not rushing into any decisions, but as a life-long Saints fans she is already toying with the idea of a season ticket.
“We don’t really get along there as we just couldn’t afford it, but now we can and it doesn’t matter if they lose!”