Family dog the retriever of second golden ticket for lottery winners
A couple who were still in shock from winning nearly £150,000 on the EuroMillions Lottery have described how they burst into tears when their dog uncovered a second winning ticket for the same draw.
Jane and Alan Slater, of the Isle of Wight, had already started making plans for their future with their win after matching five numbers and the lucky star on the draw held on Tuesday September 29.
But a few days later, Mrs Slater, 59, had just taken her dogs, Ruby and Kai, for a walk and they were getting back into the car when Ruby disturbed the second winning ticket for another £150,000, which had been tucked into a catalogue and forgotten about.
Describing their first win, Mr Slater, 65, a customer relations manager for Wightlink Ferries, said: "I discovered our first win in the early hours of Wednesday morning when I came in from work. To wind down from the shift I decided to check the football results and our EuroMillions numbers, but what I saw soon put a stop to my gentle wind down.
"We'd matched five main numbers and a lucky star with our numbers so I ran upstairs telling Jane to get out of bed, she just grumbled at me that it better be a good reason!"
Mrs Slater, a hospital catering assistant who had played the lottery for 20 years, said: "I accused Alan of creating an elaborate joke with the TV, but one look at his face was enough for me to realise he was telling the truth. We didn't know what to do so both wandered about the house in shock, in fact at 2am we went out to the garden in the hope the fresh air would help us to make sense of it."
The discovery of the second win, both of which were for the sum of £149,089.30, happened on Ruby's second birthday.
Mrs Slater said: "We had a lovely walk on Monday (October 5) chatting about the amazing start to the week with our EuroMillions win and how lucky we had been. As we got back in the car to head home Ruby hopped onto the back seat with me and disturbed this piece of paper inside a catalogue which gently floated down to my feet.
"I really can't explain the way this piece of paper floated, it was like you see in slow motion in films, as though someone wanted me to notice it. I immediately reached down and picked up the slip of paper which turned out to be a lottery ticket."
She continued: "I was convinced that Alan had taken the winning ticket to show some friends at work and I was livid he'd risked losing it. But poor Alan, trying to drive us safely home, kept repeating he hadn't touched the ticket and it was still safely at home.
"I slowly turned the ticket over, fully expecting to see my signature but there was nothing." Mr Slater said that they drove home in shock and described the double win as "magical".
He said: "We both burst into tears when we saw that the second ticket was also a winner. It was actually a bit scary because it all happened in such a magical way, what with Ruby disturbing the ticket on her birthday and it floating so gently right in front of Jane's eyes. The ticket could so easily have disappeared in the rubbish when I tidied up the car, we couldn't help feel that someone was looking down on us."
He added that the dogs would get some special treats thanks to Ruby's discovery.
He said: "We are a very close family and the wins mean we will be able to help our two children in the future. There will be a big family party later in the year and a few more treats for Ruby and Kai. I will also be hanging up my work boots at the end of the month, retiring a few months earlier than originally planned. I've spent 10 years safely docking the catamaran at Ryde pier head but with the double win I can step aside and let someone else take that job."
Mrs Slater added: "With Alan retiring early I may well join him so we can enjoy more getaways with the dogs and our retirement together but I'm not going into retirement quietly! My daughter has planned a three week extravaganza of events to celebrate my 60th and I can't wait to kick-up my heels knowing that Alan and I have a financially secure and fun-filled future ahead."
The couple bought their winning EuroMillions ticket from the Spar shop in Newport.
The winning numbers for the EuroMillions draw on Tuesday September 29, were 11, 14, 26, 29, 49 and the Lucky Stars were 3 and 9.
Mrs Slater said that she would be giving Ruby, a labrador retriever, some special treats as a reward.
She said: "She will have some special treats, she will have a nice bone to play with. She has always been special to us.
"Her nose is amazing, she can smell fox poo from a mile away but this time she has found something much better."
Mrs Slater said that they bought tickets for several draws a week and her husband had bought the second ticket and had not realised she had already done so.
She added that they had always used the same numbers for 20 years of playing the lottery.
She said: "We had each bought a ticket but Alan had forgotten when he bought his and he hadn't realised his was for the Tuesday draw as well. It was the same numbers because we always do the same numbers."