Lottery winner Barbara Wragg who gave away more than £5.5m of her £7.6m jackpot dies aged 77 after sepsis battle

Within weeks of scooping a £7.6million jackpot in 2000, Barbara Wragg and husband Ray, 80, decided to share over half their windfall with friends, family and good causes.

Thousands of people benefited from their generosity while they retained a relatively modest lifestyle.

It is thought the couple gave away around 70 per cent of their fortune over the course of two decades.

A total of 17 separate charities including a number of hospitals in their hometown of Sheffield, South Yorks, benefited from the pair.

Husband Ray today paid tribute to his wife who is understood to have died from sepsis following complications from surgery.

The father of three said: "It is so very sad because Barbara, who has given so much to the NHS, both working for them and charitable donations, didn't deserve this.

"She was so kind and caring. She was naturally like that, even before the lottery win."

The humble couple lived in a council house, which they bought for £10,000 back in the 80s.

Following the win in January 2000, Barbara said: “I look at it this way – £7.6million is too much for one couple in their 50s and 60s to spend.

"As soon as we knew we'd won we made our decision to give much of it away.”

Ray has told how the last five years had been "hell" as Barbara suffered with pains in her hip and back, and went through a mastectomy after breast cancer.

She was admitted to Northern General Hospital in Sheffield last with for an operation to remove gall stones, where she is understood to have contracted blood infection sepsis.

The first cheques Barbara wrote came from the proceeds of the sale of their council home.

They went to Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital to pay for a bladder scanner and Weston Park Hospital where Barbara and Ray's daughter, Amanda, had been treated for Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.

The couple also bought 30 television sets so each child in a local hospice could watch TV in bed.

Every Christmas for six years they picked up the bill for taking 250 children from a deprived inner city school to enjoy Sheffield's pantomime.

Countless other charities have benefited including Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, the Make a Wish Foundation, Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, the Meningitis Trust and Help The Aged.


Septicaemia, also known as sepsis, is a rare but serious complication of an infection that can quickly lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Also known as blood poisoning, it occurs when large amounts of bacteria enter the bloodstream.

Bacterial meningitis can lead to septicaemia.

Sepsis can also be caused by viral or fungal infections, although bacterial infections are by far the most common cause.

Symptoms in children under 5

  • your child may look mottled, bluish or pale
  • is very lethargic and difficult to wake
  • feels abnormally cold to touch
  • is breathing very fast or having difficulty breathing
  • has a rash that does not fade when you press on it
  • is fitting or convulsing
  • has a high temperature
  • refusing to eat or drink
  • has not had a wee for over 12 hours

Symptoms in older children and adults

  • a high temperature
  • chills and shivering
  • fast heartbeat
  • fast breathing
  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • confusion and disorientation
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • slurred speech
  • severe muscle pain
  • breathlessness
  • not urinating for a day
  • cold, clammy and pale skin
  • loss of consciousness

If any of these symptoms develop you should seek medical advice straight away.

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