A teacher who won £2 million on the National Lottery has walked down the school corridor for the final time as he pursues his dream of writing novels.
Mike Law, from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, won the prize in October 2021 but continued to work as an arts and photography teacher until this summer.
Rather than returning to the classroom with his colleagues this month, he has begun writing historical adventure novels – which he hopes to get published.
The 52-year-old said: “How many people have wanted to change careers but found themselves in a rut and unable to take a leap of faith?
“To me, winning the National Lottery isn’t about fast cars and speed boats, it’s about opportunity and making memories.
“I have been given this chance and I’m very lucky to be able to have a go at making a long-standing passion, my job.
“Having been through a tough few years, like many, and losing close family members just before the win, including my Mum, I realised life is very short and I had been given an unexpected opportunity.”
Mr Law had been a teacher for 23 years but decided to change his career more than a year ago, with the support of his wife, 45-year-old Andrea.
But he stayed in his role to make sure he finished teaching his GCSE students, who took their exams this year, and said he will miss teaching as it is “part” of him.
While admitting he “wasn’t a very good pupil” at school, Mr Law has retained a love for history after being given a book about the medieval Anglo-Saxon burial site, Sutton Hoo, which got him “hooked” on the subject.
Combined with a love of writing and a fascination with the Romans, he has been inspired to write a novel set in Roman Britain which he says has a “dark twist”.
The book is set in and around Wroxeter in Shropshire, which was one of the largest cities in Roman Britain and the site remains are managed by English Heritage.
Mr Law has travelled past the site hundreds of times on trips to Wales and thought it was the perfect place to set his story.
He said: “It’s set in Roman Britain in AD199 and is based around a group of legionaries and their adventures in and around Wroxeter in Shropshire; it is an historical adventure novel with a dark twist.
“I really want to be historically correct; I suppose that’s the teacher in me.
“I get totally engrossed in my work and I’ve been to Shropshire many times and tried to picture myself in Roman Britain thousands of years ago and it’s helped to have sites like Wroxeter available to visit to help me bring my story to life.
“I would love to find a literary agent and see my writing in print, but if not I may even publish the book myself.”
Mrs Law, a marketing and communications manager in education, said their lives have remained mostly the same.
Mrs Law said: “We are very much the same, normal family. We no longer have the worry of a mortgage, which is a huge relief, but we want to remain grounded.
“Yes, we have had a few treats, we’ve been on a trip to Lapland, a dream of mine since we had the boys, but not a great deal more.
“The plan was to use the winnings to improve the quality of our lives, make memories and provide for our kids, and Mike changing his career is the first piece of that jigsaw.”
Mr Law added: “That’s the beauty of winning. It has given me the freedom to have a go and totally immerse myself in something I enjoy, I am deeply grateful for that opportunity.”