A LUCKY lottery winner has revealed how he’ll be spending his money after a small change in his day saw him rake in £500,000.
Jeff Etherington, 65, said he hit the Thunderball mega jackpot because a strange twist of fate put him “in the right place at the right time”.
Jeff, from Harlow, Essex, did not buy the ticket until January 11 because he had switched to an early shift at his job as a machine setter so he could go to a hospital appointment that day.
His decision to go to the supermarket after seeing a doctor proved more fruitful than he could have imagined.
He said: “I always believed that one day I would win big. It’s taken 28 years but here we are, I’m retiring with an extra £500,000.
“I can’t help but think it’s fate if I hadn’t switched shifts for that hospital appointment, hadn’t bought my Lucky Dip ticket right then and now another lucky person could be celebrating instead!”
First on Jeff’s list of spending priorities is finally tying the knot with his beloved fiancée Kim, 60.
The couple are parents to five children and grandparents to eight, but have never been able to find the time to make matters official.
Jeff added: “We’ve been together for six years and finally got engaged in 2021. We always knew we would get married eventually, but the money was always spent on something else. Now that ‘someday’ wedding can be imminent!”
Aside from this top bucket list item, Jeff has a few other things he’d like to spend the money on.
He said: “I’m sure over time we’ll get the hang of being National Lottery winners, but at the moment it’s hard for us to think of a ‘must do’.
“We’ve both changed our cars relatively recently, we’ve had our house redecorated and a new kitchen fitted, the bathroom is due for a refurbishment next month and we had already booked and paid for our holiday to Lanzarote, it’s almost like ours knew we were going to win!”
An avid fisherman, he also considered a trip to Hawaii in search of marlin, but decided instead to treat himself and Kim to a luxury lodge stay, complete with a hot tub on the deck.
Recalling the winning moment, he said he hardly noticed what happened at the time.
He explained: “I was pretty absentminded but when I saw the Thunderball winning numbers online they all looked familiar and when I ticked them all I realized we had won. I turned to Kim and said, ‘We’ve won £500,000’, she replied by telling me to go, but in quite colorful language!
“I was convinced it must be a joke, but the logical part of my brain kept telling me it was a real ticket, so it had to be a real win, using the same logic I used to decide the.” Review the National Lottery app.
“When I scanned my ticket, the app told me the results weren’t available yet. I must have scanned it about 100 times before it suddenly pinged and £500,000 popped up in the window.”
The next morning he texted a few friends and co-workers to share the good news.
By the time he got to work, word had spread and he was greeted with clapping and cheers from his enthusiastic colleagues.
It comes after it was revealed a EuroMillions winner was splashing out £100,000 a week as he broke through £40million in just eight years.
Meanwhile, another lucky couple celebrated their jackpot win in a unique way.
Bruce Carter and Emiliana Kaftan, from Quesnel in Canada, decided the first purchases they made with their £1.6million winnings would be a KFC bucket and a fishing trip.
However, not every lottery story has a happy ending.
One son even smashed his father’s car into pieces with a hammer after his old man refused to share his new fortune.
https://www.thesun.ie/money/10113042/won-thunderball-change-day-spend/ I won a £500,000 Thunderball prize after changing my day – that’s why I won… Here’s what I’ll be spending my money on