A digger driver who won £250,000 on a Lottery scratchcard plans to buy a hot tub for his garden.
George Bates, 23, of Great Leighs in Essex, bought the winning Gold Scratchcard at his local Post Office on Friday.
But the heavy plant operator did not realise he had won until he checked it in the pub that evening – and then leapt for joy.
“That first pint on a Friday is always something to look forward to – even these days when we are social distancing – but, I can tell you, winning £250,000 into the deal makes it quite a bit sweeter,” he said.
“I’d literally just got a pint and sat down at my table when I remembered the scratchcard I’d bought a bit earlier at the village Post Office.
“As I revealed the £250,000 prize symbol, I leapt up and started to shout and cheer, I was buzzing!”
He said the pub manager asked him to sit down, before Mr Bates showed him the winning scratchcard and the pub cheered his good fortune.
“I’d bought the scratchcard earlier that day, shoved it in my pocket and carried on,” he said.
“I can’t believe I was jumping in and out of the car and all the time with the equivalent of £250,000 in my pocket.
“Once I’d seen what that little piece of card was worth, I pretty promptly downed my pint and headed home to tell my mum and give it to her for safekeeping.
“Telling my mum was epic, my brother was there too, and we were just whooping and shouting.”
He treated his mother and two brothers to Sunday lunch at the pub and is making plans for the future.
“This really is a life-changing opportunity for someone of my age, and, if I do it right, it will help set me up for life,” he said.
“I’ve just completed a training course so I am licensed to operate larger machinery; now I can go self-employed almost immediately.
“Long term, I’d like to travel, there’s a crazy plan to maybe go to North America and drive diggers in the goldfields.
“Given my luck on this scratchcard, maybe I should try my luck there!
“But in the short term, I’m going to put it all into investments, keep living with my mum and brothers, but keep a little back to make life a bit easier for us all.
“Maybe a few more meals out – when that’s safe to do again – and I’m thinking a hot tub for the back garden would be nice too.
“It’s been a rubbish year, this is a pretty awesome way to finish it off, we’re going to have one hell of a Christmas!”
– The Gold Scratchcard costs £2 and offers a one in 3.99 overall chance of winning a prize, with prizes ranging from £2 up to the top prize of £250,000.