An accountant who has always predicted winning big on the National Lottery is finally celebrating after scooping a £1 million prize.
Malcolm Haines, from Reading, Berkshire, would tell his son every time they drove past the headquarters of lottery operator Camelot that one day he would be visiting to pick up his prize.
However, because the 49-year-old Watford FC season ticket holder cannot visit the offices in person due to Covid-19 restrictions, he has instead been celebrating at his home with wife Rebecca, 52, and children.
Mr Haines, who won on the Lotto draw on January 9, said: “While I have always expected this big Lotto win I can confirm it doesn’t make it any less shocking when it finally happens.
“I’m an accountant so used to seeing lots of noughts but when they are your noughts it’s a completely different matter.”
He added: “Like many families in lockdown, our bedtime is stretching later and later so it wasn’t until just after midnight, when Rebecca and our two teenage children had gone up to bed, that I decided to check the tickets.
“I always check using the app and, much to my wife’s amusement, shut my eyes when it’s scanning in the hope that I hear that little bell.
“This time I heard the bell, opened my eyes expecting to see a Lucky Dip, perhaps a fiver, and instead saw lots of noughts.”
Mrs Haines said: “I was in bed when Malcolm shouted up to me, I’ll admit I wasn’t keen to leave it but when he showed me the message on the app, sleep was very quickly forgotten.
“We looked at each other and started to laugh, then, because we wanted to share this amazing moment with the children, we called them down too and all stayed up discussing some crazy, and not so crazy plans, for our winnings.”
Mr Haines added: “We have a Doberman puppy called Mabel and all I could think was ‘what if she somehow gets hold of the ticket and chews it’, so having left it on the bedside table I got up again, took lots of photos as evidence and then put it higher on a shelf, out of Mabel’s reach.”
The family plan to spend their winnings on travel around the world but firstly to pay off their mortgage and upgrade their car.
Mr Haines said: “While we will be travelling as much as we can once it’s safe to do so, our first purchase as Lotto millionaires wasn’t desperately glamorous, we replaced our ‘not quite fitting’ dog guard for one that was purpose built.
“Slightly more exciting in the car department, we will be swapping our run-of-the-mill Mini for a John Cooper Works Mini convertible.”
Mr Haines bought the winning Lotto ticket in Asda Supercentre on Chalfont Way in Lower Earley. The winning Lotto numbers for the draw on Saturday, January 9, 2021 were 9, 21, 23, 30, 35, 38 and the bonus ball was 53.