A MILKMAN has spoken of his joy after picking up £1m Lottery winnings thanks to his son and former wife’s generosity.

Despite being divorced for more than 25 years, one of the first people that Doreen Hay thought deserved £500,000 of winnings was her former husband John.

And the lucky 59-year-old, who lives in Thornaby, became an overnight millionaire when their son John jnr, who shared the £7.5m lottery win with his mother, gave him another £500,000.

The couple who split in 1987 after ‘growing apart’ have remained firm friends and still regularly enjoyed days out together.

He said: “When she rang after the win I was thrilled for her. It never crossed my mind she’d give any to me.

"It is typical of Doreen’s generosity that she’s thought of everyone else before herself.

“She has been such a great friend. We’ve got on better than we did when we were married.

"I have never needed anyone else when I have her as a friend.”

The milkman, who earns £20,000 a year, has been out on his round as usual but admitted he will soon be doing his last.

“I’ve been on my milk round now for 30 years and I’ve enjoyed it,” he said. "My thoughts were turning to retirement but I didn’t think I’d be able to do it for quite some time.

"Doreen’s changed all that and I really don’t know how to thank her.”

The pair met almost 40 years ago when they worked at a restaurant together.

He said: “I was over the moon when she agreed to go out with me but we grew apart as man and wife.

"Still, there’s no one I’d rather spend my time with than Doreen.”

The mum-of-two, of also of Thornaby, still lives in the same area as her ex.

She said: “I see him every week for Sunday lunch. He does a lovely dinner.

“If it is nice we go away for days. We have such a good relationship.”

The generous 70-year-old retired school cleaner is giving away a total of £1.5million between John, her three grandchildren, seven surviving siblings and the charities Help for Heroes, WaterAid, Save The Children and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, as well as Butterwick Hospice.