A great-grandmother who landed £500,000 on the Thunderball claims she always knew she would win.

Lucky Sheila Garrett, 80, is planning on moving to the ‘penthouse’ apartment at her retirement community with her winnings.

The pensioner, who danced around her flat when she realised she had won, said: “I can’t get my head around it at the moment. It is still quite new and hasn’t really sunk in. It has become more real after holding the big cheque.”

Sheila started playing online during the coronavirus pandemic until her numbers came up on September 25.

She added: “As soon as I saw the message that I had won, I knew it was £500,000 top prize. I always knew I would win Thunderball.”

Sheila danced around her flat when she realised she had won

It is the second time the great-grandmother of 15, who also has 10 grandchildren, has cashed in, after she previously won $20,000 in a US lottery game when she lived in Florida called ‘Fantasy Five’.

She used the same numbers for her big Thunderball win.

And she believes her lucky streak is still not over – and now has her sights set on the Euromillions jackpot for her third win.

The 80-year-old started playing the lottery online during the pandemic

As for her spending plans Sheila has always said that she would buy a bungalow when she won, but now having had a look at property her plans have changed.

The OAP, of Gravesend, Kent, said: “I live in a flat in a lovely retirement community with a club and social trips. Buying a bungalow would meaning leaving all that. There is a larger flat available in my complex so I have my eye on that. It is on the top floor so I suppose you could say I’m moving to the penthouse!”

“It has taken time to sink in so I am glad I kept my promise and got to spray the celebratory bottle of champagne. It has made it real and the big lottery cheque will look great on the wall in my penthouse. When I win my third one, I’ll definitely go public again.”

The pensioner celebrated her win by spraying a bottle of champagne

Sheila was able to celebrate with her daughter-in-law Kathy Garrett, who is a Winners’ Advisor at Camelot.

Although Camelot employees are not allowed to buy tickets for or play National Lottery games, extended family members who aren’t part of the same household – which applies to Sheila – are eligible to play.

Kathy said of her mother-in-law’s win: “I’m delighted for Sheila. I have the most amazing job where I get to see lives changed by a National Lottery win and I know what a difference this will make to her."