Life changing

Landlord and landlady thank their lucky white horse for EuroMillions win

The landlord and landlady of a village pub near Salisbury will be calling last orders on their long working hours after scooping £1M on EuroMillions. The couple who only met because of a white horse and now run The White Horse pub, are thanking their lucky mascot for riding in with £1M to change their lives.

Nick and Zoe Hoare, 53 and 43, have run The White Horse Inn in Quidhampton for the past three years, saving it after it had been shut for a year. The couple, who matched the EuroMillions Millionaire Maker code on 9th May 2017, put the win down to their beloved pub.

Nick said, “The White Horse means so much to Zoe and I. I’m a farrier by trade and we met when her white horse needed shoeing, so we joke that it’s a white horse that brought us together, and now it’s the White Horse that has helped set us up on our next adventure together.”

Clean sweep

The couple, who have been married 11 years, put their new millionaire status all down to their beloved pub's carpets. Part-time farrier and publican Nick explains.

“In the pub game there is always another job to do and last Monday, although it was our day off, was no different. We hired a rug cleaner to do the carpets and when we took it back later that day, I decided to pick up a couple of EuroMillions tickets.

“Had those carpets not needed a spring clean, we wouldn’t have been in Waitrose, buying a ticket from a machine which dispensed the winning code. Who knew cleaning could be so lucrative.”

Meet Nick and Zoe

“These match”

After a busy lunchtime shift, the day after the draw, Zoe heard Nick gasp and looked round to see him, Lottery ticket in hand saying, “these match.”

“I thought he’d made a mistake so took a look myself. When I saw they did indeed match, and it was the Millionaire Maker, I couldn’t believe it and just said ‘well that must be wrong then’. It was only when I scanned the ticket with the National Lottery app and it pinged that we started to believe it was time to call the number on the back of the ticket.”

Opening time

Once the National Lottery Line had confirmed the win the pair took their dog for a walk in the woods, using the time to try and process their newfound wealth before opening the pub doors again at 6.00pm.

Zoe said, “Some people have asked why we didn’t shut the pub that day but it, and our locals, mean so much to us. We wouldn’t let people down like that. Plus, it’s been quite good fun pulling pints and keeping it business as usual, secretly knowing this utterly bonkers dose of good luck has just landed in our laps!”

Closing time

Looking ahead the pair have decided that they will be giving up The White Horse Inn tenancy at the end of the year, but are hopeful for the pub's future.

Nick said, “It’s going to be so hard to leave. The pub was closed for a year before we took it on and we’ve worked really hard with our team to establish it at the heart of the community again. While this magic ‘gift’ means it’s the right time for us to leave and seek future opportunities, we know The White Horse will find a new landlord and landlady who will love it as much as we have.”

Zoe said, “This is such an amazing opportunity for us. While we will certainly buy a new home, probably travel a bit and maybe treat ourselves to new cars at some point, for me the best bit about our win is the free time we will be able to enjoy. The pub has been a blast, but working 100-hour weeks doesn’t leave much time for catching up with friends and family, so when we finally say our farewells to Quidhampton, there’ll be lots of very leisurely long lunches and pots of coffee enjoyed with those near and far.”

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