Retired Couple Scoop $75M 'EuroMillions' Jackpot

Published August 2nd, 2018 - 11:00 GMT
A retired couple from Aberdeenshire have won £57.9 million EuroMillions jackpot (Twitter)
A retired couple from Aberdeenshire have won £57.9 million EuroMillions jackpot (Twitter)

A retired couple have set their sights on a holiday home in Barbados after scooping a £57.9million ($75,695680) EuroMillions jackpot, despite a shop worker tearing up their winning ticket after assuming the couple had lost again.

Regular player Fred Higgins, 67, took the ticket into his local shop to be checked, where an absent-minded assistant ripped it in half after putting it through a terminal that checks for winners.

As the ticket was chucked in the bin, the machine buzzed to inform the holder to call Camelot, forcing the embarrassed shop worker to hand the numbers back to an excited Mr Higgins.

The retired Audi adminstrator rushed home to check the numbers online while his wife Lesley, 57, slept upstairs, before waking her up to tell her the good news.

The couple won the life-changing sum early last month but took more than a fortnight to share details of their win.

The pair, from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, matched the winning numbers of 3, 33, 26, 8, 45, as well as the Lucky Star numbers 7 and 10.

The win is ranked at number 14 in the list of the biggest lottery prizes to be won in the UK, and is the latest in a string of Lotto winners from Scotland.

The couple scooped the jackpot even though their winning ticket was mistakenly torn in two.

Mr Higgins said: 'I handed the ticket over and the young man put it through the machine, telling me it wasn't a winner.

'He ripped the ticket in two and threw it into the bin, as they would with all non-winning tickets.

'But this time, the terminal produced a chitty which said I needed to retain my ticket and call Camelot.

'The retailer immediately grabbed it out of the bin and handed it to me, not realising it was a winner before he discarded it.'

He went on: 'The ticket had been torn in two but all the numbers were still clear so I took it back home to make the call.

'Lesley was snoozing so I thought I would look at the website to double-check the numbers and sure enough, the first matched, then the second matched, match, match - we had them all!



'When Lesley woke, I explained we had a winning ticket and what had happened.

'I showed her the numbers, asked her to check and she misread them, thinking we were £5.7 ($7,45) million richer rather than an amazing £57 ($74) million.

'I felt really calm at that point - I think it was just sinking in - so I then called Camelot and explained what had happened.'

Mr Higgins went on: 'I wasn't ever concerned that we wouldn't get the money as I knew it was a honest mistake - it just had to be looked at to make sure everything was correct.'

The retired Audi administrator and his wife Lesley, who handed in her notice from her role as account manager at the Montrose Port Authority on Tuesday, chose a brand new Audi Cabriolet as their first purchase.

The couple, who have been married for 35 years, also have dreams of living abroad.

'We had a really comfortable life before the win but we did have dreams of living abroad,' Mr Higgins said.

'We love Gozo, which is where my niece lives, so we always thought we would get somewhere out there.

'But I have to say since we won, I've got my eye on somewhere in France and Lesley seems to be looking at property in Barbados.

'I think it might be fun to explore a few places before we commit to buying anything.'

Mr Higgins, who collects Malt Whisky and has around 40 unopened bottles, went on: 'It is our wedding anniversary on 20 August and my birthday a couple of days later, so I think a celebration is in order before we decide what comes next.'

The couple bought and checked their winning ticket at Scotmid, High Street, Laurencekirk.

A Camelot spokesman said a range of security checks had to take place because the ticket was ripped in two.

'We are so glad to be able to pay Fred and Lesley this amazing sum,' he said.

'It is essential that we ensure we are paying the rightful ticket-holder, and in situations like this, it can take a little time for these investigations to be completed.'

The Angus and Kincardineshire area in particular has been ripe for lottery wins in recent years, earning it the nickname of the 'Golden Triangle'.

A former lifeboat coxswain from Arbroath David Gerrard and his wife Mary were among the first to become millionaires when they claimed £1.2 ($1.5) million in 1996.

Three years later a ten-strong syndicate from a pub in Brechin shared a £4 ($5) million prize, while Carnoustie couple Derek and Teresa Esposito won £1.3 ($1.6) million in the same year.

It was a EuroMillions jackpot that made a fortune for Forfar woman Janette Robertson, who won £1 ($1.3) million in 2013.

And former youth footballer Jake Bowman from Forfar ended up packing in his day job at a factory after winning a cool £10 ($13) million two years ago.

But in terms of big wins, these sums pale in comparison to the £148 ($193) million that Gillian Bayford and her now ex-husband Adrian scooped in 2012.

Laurencekirk residents were stunned at the news last night. One woman said: 'It's just amazing. It really makes you think it's possible.'


This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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