Life changing

Aberdeenshire couple claim £57Million with ticket torn by mistake

A retired man and his wife from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, hoped that one day they would have a big lottery win and, like many, discussed what they would do if it ever happened. After winning the entire EuroMillions Jackpot of £57.9Million , it’s safe to say all those plans can now be put into action – even though their winning ticket was mistakenly torn in two.

No worries

Fred 67, and Lesley, 57, Higgins say they were never concerned about their mistakenly torn ticket and kept it in an envelope that they’d written “Money Worries Over!” across.

Fred explained he took his tickets from the last week into the local shop to be checked as he bought ones for the following week.

“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.

“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 (57) 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 £5.7Million richer rather than an amazing £57Million! I felt really calm at that point – I think it was just sinking in – so I then called Camelot and explained what had happened.”

After being advised that because of the tear, processing it was a little more complicated and the win would need a little more investigation, the security team came out to see the couple and chat to the store to check the course of events and look at the CCTV footage.

“I wasn’t ever concerned that we wouldn’t get the money as I knew it was an honest mistake – it just had to be looked at to make sure everything was correct,” said Fred.

New wheels

With the money firmly in their account, retired Audi administrator Fred and his wife Lesley, who handed in her notice from her role as Account Manager at the Montrose Port Authority on Tuesday, have already made their first purchase – a brand new Audi Cabriolet. As well as another car, possibly a BMW or a Jaguar.

Hobbies

As well as maybe taking up some new hobbies – Fred likes the sound of golf – they are keen to look after those close to them, including their daughter, and will definitely support some charities, but it is too early to say at the moment.

Fred collects Malt Whisky – he has around 40 unopened bottles – so there may be a few more to add to the collection.

Living abroad

Fred said they are looking at how they can use the money for years to come.

“We had a really comfortable life before the win but we did have dreams of living abroad. 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!”

Married for 35 years, Fred is looking forward to celebrating upcoming events in style.

“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.”

2 August 2018

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