A self-employed builder from Boston has been revealed as the mystery £76 million EuroMillions Jackpot winner after finding the ticket tucked in the visor of his van.
Andrew Clark, 51, bought his winning ticket from Eastwood Road Post Office in Boston with the winnings meaning he can take early retirement.
The winning numbers were drawn on November 2 and the ticket matched all five numbers: 5, 15, 17, 37, 44 and Lucky Stars 7 and 11 for a jackpot of £76,369,806.80.
He said: “It almost feels like some magical Christmas story, the man who nearly lost £76 million!”
Ticket found in his van
Andrew has a habit of stockpiling lottery tickets in his Peugeot Expert van, which could have backfired massively had he not found this one in time.
Andrew’s partner of four years, 51-year-old Trisha Fairhurst, knew about his ticket hoarding habits, so told him to keep checking in case he was the mystery winner.
It turns out he was – a great present for the family just in time for Christmas.
The grandfather of three said: “Trisha kept telling me to check the tickets, and her niece Louise, who I was building an extension for, was also in on it once she’d heard about the unclaimed prize in the news.
“It was something of a standing joke that I had all these tickets while there was a local prize outstanding, so for weeks they were on at me to check.”
On finding the ticket he added: “It was about 8pm and we were watching telly when Louise reminded me again about the tickets. I finally gave in, got the bundle out of the van and started to work my way through them, methodically from the oldest to the most recent, starting with Lotto, before moving onto my EuroMillions tickets.
“You might say I was slightly winding up Louise but I certainly didn’t expect the wind up to end with me saying ‘I’ve done it, I’ve won £76,’ – I won’t say what she said in response!”
He phoned his partner Trisha to tell her the amazing news. She said: “I’d just got back from work and was settling in for a quiet evening when Andrew called and said ‘you know that £76m, well I’ve just won it.’
“Obviously I didn’t believe a word of it, even when my niece came on the phone to say it was true I still couldn’t take it in. It started to seem real when he called back and said, ‘honestly, it’s real, so start looking for a mansion’ – bang went my quiet evening, I didn’t sleep a wink!”
New home and cars
Andrew and Trisha have already bought a new home, along with a couple of new cars – a Mercedes C63 AMG and a Nissan Qashqai.
But Trisha admits the best bit about winning is “how we can help all our family”.
She said: “We can quite simply change their lives, whether that’s paying off mortgages or supporting them in their future endeavours.
“It’s been amazing to put a smile on everyone’s face, and the fact it’s at Christmas makes it that little bit more magical.”
Andrew is already planning ahead with a vision of hiring a big lodge or hotel for the whole family next Christmas to create “a lifetime of magic moments for all those around us”.