The £32million Lotto jackpot winners waited a week to get paid their massive cheque because they had the painters in. Gerry Cannings kept the winning ticket safe in his pocket until his house was fit for the all-important validation meeting.
Wife Lisa said, "We just thought it would be easier to wait, although it did mean that Gerry had to carry round the winning ticket in his wallet all week. It was very nerve–wracking!"
The couple, who clearly have nerves of steel, as well as a freshly painted house, are now second in The National Lottery Rich List, just behind January's biggest ever Lotto winners, David and Carol Martin, and one other anonymous ticket holder, who both scooped a £33M jackpot.
Gerry and Lisa from near Peterborough bought the ticket by chance from a fish and chip shop. Gerry saw the giant rollover on a poster and on the spur of the moment bought five Lucky Dips for that night's draw.
The couple discovered the win on Sunday morning and it didn't take long for Gerry to discover he was a big winner. "I started looking down the lines I had and then saw that the first line was the same as the one on the screen. Next I saw there was only one winner and then it hit me 'Bloody hell we've got the whole lot!' I double checked it, reading it forwards and backwards. It just didn't seem real but it looked right"
Gerry went to tell Lisa saying, 'What would you say if we won the jackpot?' She can tell if I'm lying by looking into my eyes so she knew immediately I was being serious."
One week wait
The couple called Camelot to get the win confirmed that day, but amazingly didn't arrange to get the ticket validated for nearly a week. Lisa explains, "I know it sounds mad but we had a guy in to paint the whole house. We'd been planning it for ages and had packed everything into boxes. We just thought it would be easier to wait.”
Gerry, a retired school teacher, has always dreamt how he would spend a lottery win, not actually believing that it would come true.
The couple will now help their families, their children and grandchildren financially. The couple are already on the lookout for a larger home big enough to sleep all the family at Christmas. Gerry, a keen golfer, is also after a car wide enough to take his golf clubs as the current one lets him down.
Otherwise the couple plan to enjoy their travels. Top of the list is New Zealand as the family are keen Lord of the Rings fans and would love to visit the country where it was filmed. Gerry said, "We can go where we want – and travel First Class too. After looking after the family, what this money brings is a chance to enjoy new experiences and see places we thought we wouldn't get to see."