A THEATRE lover feeling the pinch due to debt and poor health has had a 'magical' twist of luck after winning a whopping £1m on the lottery.

Botley resident and former amateur actor Pam Aird was wide-eyed when her numbers matched up on the EuroMillions, and has decided to donate chunks of it to the local theatre groups she holds close to her heart.

The 58-year-old, who has unveiled herself as the Millionaire Maker winner of the draw on October 25, said: "Imagine my surprise when I saw that it matched entirely - I just couldn't believe it, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.

"I have an absolute passion for theatre and drama. I use to tread the boards myself but in recent years have become more involved behind the scenes in lighting."

Ms Aird is currently off work due to illness and was on her way back from the doctor's that Tuesday when she stopped off at Martin McColl's newsagents in Botley.

It was there that she bought her winning Lucky Dip ticket and popped it into her purse, prising it out that evening to check her numbers online.

After receiving a pop-up congratulations message she bounded into the bedroom to awake her 60-year-old partner Alick Alder and share the shock news.

She said: "All night I was tossing and turning - I couldn't stop thinking about all the things I'd always wanted to do for friends and the local community and now could do."

After popping the champagne Ms Aird pledged to to upgrade lighting at the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon, where she used to live, and provide microphone heads for the Didcot Phoenix Theatre and Synergy Group where she is a member.

The next day she went to watch a stage production and said it 'suddenly hit me that I was a millionaire'.

She added: "It was a magical experience on all counts."

Ms Aird is researching how much the theatres will need for the improvements, and will also use the money to pay bills and hopefully move back to Abingdon.

She said: "Already I have put wheels in motion to pay off debts that I have carried around for too many years, and finally make a clean start.

"Putting things right and helping the local arts in Oxfordshire are priorities but I'd be lying if I didn't say the win will also make a difference to how Alick and I enjoy life."

The couple have been together for 22 years and are avid music fans, who hope the win can buy them cosier festival accommodation than their trusty two-man tent.

Tennis and athletics lover Ms Aird also wants to buy tickets to see her sporting heroes in person.

Abingdon Drama Club member Kevin Thomson said: "Pam is a real stalwart, she has always been a friend of the Unicorn Theatre. She has done tonnes of stuff - she's a good community person. She loves Abingdon and in a way Abingdon loves her."

He said lighting in the theatre was currently slightly behind with technology.

Bryan Brown of Friends of Abingdon Civic Society, which owns the theatre, said he was 'utterly delighted' by her generosity.