Lotto win pushed under the carpet
Published 14/12/2010 | 14:25
Lotto millionaire Neil Jones was so worried he would lose his winning ticket that he hid it under his carpet.
The self-employed tiler and his partner Julie Kirkham, 43, landed £2,446,436 after hitting the jackpot in last Wednesday's draw.
But Mr Jones, 47, said the win made him very anxious. "At first I thought we had won £10, and then I realised we had all six numbers. I called to Julie to come and check the ticket too as my hands were shaking so much but she thought I was pulling her leg.
"After we called Camelot, I kept the ticket in my wallet but I was nervous that I might lose it, so I put it in an envelope, inside a Christmas card under the carpet in the house for safe keeping.
"I wanted to check it was still there but I was worried that if I kept unfolding and folding the ticket, you might not be able to read the numbers any more."
The couple, who live in Fenton, Staffordshire, plan to splash the cash on a bumper Christmas, new house, Egyptian holiday, new business venture... and a second-hand car.
Ms Kirkham, a sandwich shop assistant, said: "I still can't believe it. My head is in bits and I can't think straight. When I cooked our Sunday dinner, I put the chicken under the grill instead of in the oven and didn't realise what I had done until Neil said he could smell burning."
The pair discovered the win after checking their lucky dip numbers.
Mr Jones said: "I had read about people who were down to their few last pounds when their luck turned, and it has been a difficult few months for us, especially being self-employed. Just as it was confirmed we had definitely won, I got a phone call on my mobile to ask me if I could tile two bathrooms before the end of the year. Our luck has definitely changed for the better."
Mr Jones said he was so short of work before the win that he had borrowed money. "We've just been scraping along. We actually borrowed some money so we could get through Christmas, knowing that in the new year I'd got a couple of jobs that weren't sure, but in the pipeline. I was down to my last 13 quid, I think."