A young couple from Romney Marsh, Kent, will move to Cornwall to run businesses from the coast, after revealing £3Million on a National Lottery Scratchcard. James Evans, 30, and partner JoJo Smith, 28, are set for a multi-million pound sea change.
It all began on Friday when James, a self-employed gardener, was helping out a mate.
"As we were working we got chatting about the challenges of starting out in business and cashflow. We actually spoke about a local lad who won on a scratchcard and joked that a nice little win like that would mean I could buy a new digger and trailer."
Inspired by the conversation, on his way home James decided if there was a parking spot outside his usual local shop, he'd stop and treat himself to a couple of scratchcards.
"Amazingly there was a space right outside so I took this as sign, popped in and bought my scratchcards and a drink. I played one with no luck and then played the £250M Cash Spectacular scratchcard and matched the number 17. As I revealed the winning amount I was distracted by something so didn’t really see it properly. When I looked back down and saw the £3mill symbol I didn’t believe it. I have to say I've once before read it wrong and thought I had a big win so was a bit suss and thought my mind was playing tricks again. I paused and then had another look, and thankfully the £3mill was still there."
James rang his partner of four years, JoJo, to let her know that this time he really had won £3 million. A full-time baker, she told him to stop joking and demonstrating a great work ethic said she had to get off to work and they'd chat later.
Returning to the house he shares with his mum and JoJo, James rang Camelot to confirm his win and arranged to speak with a Winners' Advisor on Monday morning.
"To keep my mind busy over the weekend I pottered about in the garden, went for a bike ride, took the dog for a walk and even mowed the neighbours lawn. Anything but think about the scratchcard I had sitting in my bedside table that could make me a multi-millionaire.
"I have to be honest, I really didn't believe it but when JoJo's car suddenly packed up on Saturday I really hoped it was real."
Beside the seaside
With the win now verified and the money in the bank James is starting to believe it’s real and the pair can start thinking about the future.
"We've always dreamt about moving to Cornwall and in fact that's what we were slowly working towards, now thanks to the win our daydream has been fast forwarded at warp speed.
"We will start looking for a nice little farmhouse with some outbuildings and about an acre of land to call home. I will establish a maintenance business and JoJo a bakery in one of the little seaside villages. And I’ll finally get that new digger and trailer!"
Icing on the cake
Alongside the Cornish dream, James is thinking about travel plans and sharing the win with his family.
"I'm going to buy mum a bungalow on the banks of the Tamar River and look at hiring a villa in Ibiza so we can treat friends and family to one hell of a holiday in the sun."
Other plans for the win include his and hers Mercedes, an A45 AMG for him and a GLS to replace JoJo's 16 year old Nissan X-Trail, and holidays to visit Thailand's Phi Phi Island and the Gorges du Tarn in France.
"It really is magic. This time last week I was busy thinking of ways to help get my business off the ground, now I'm thinking about what to do with £3million quid!"
22nd June 2018