A ferry port assistant from Greenock had the shock of his life when he asked a colleague to read out the winning Lotto numbers from the newspaper during their lunch break. All the numbers matched and he immediately swapped his sarnie for £4.3M.
James Couper, 46, was one of two ticket–holders who matched all six numbers in the Lotto draw on Saturday 28th January. Each has won a life changing cheque for £4,369,877.
James was astonished to discover he was a winner while at work on Sunday, the day after the draw. “We were just casually sitting chatting on our lunch break when my workmate came across the Lotto results in the newspaper. I got my ticket out as he read them aloud and was so confused that they were all my numbers.
“I thought that he’d gotten a hold of my ticket somehow and knew my numbers meaning it was all a joke, so I grabbed the newspaper to check it for myself. When I saw them there in black and white and as clear as day, I just couldn’t get my head around it. I was so confused and in utter disbelief.”
Dream come true
A call to Camelot to confirm what he was seeing soon made the win start to seem real.
“I was so stunned that I had to go home and actually ended up sitting in a dark room for a few hours, just letting it all sink in. I’ve dreamt of this moment so many times, but when it actually happened it was a total shock. I kept checking the numbers over and over again as I thought there must be a mistake – the information just wasn’t going in!”
“I used to play the lottery regularly using set numbers but then somewhere along the line I stopped and just started playing now and again with Lucky Dips. Boy, am I glad that I decided to pick up that Lucky Dip now!"
The first person to be told the amazing news was James’ 20 year old daughter, Rachel, who didn’t actually believe him until later that night.
James says he protected the ticket with his life, hiding it in his son’s old toy box at the back of a cupboard, but still checking it time and time again. “I’d be sitting in the house and I’d just have to check it was still there – numerous times a day! I couldn’t help myself; I was not going to get this far just to lose my winning ticket.”
The win is still a shock to James and he will be taking his time before deciding how to spend his new found wealth. He is sure a new home and car will be on the cards. He is also guaranteeing a “blowout holiday” for his two children, Rachel and Daniel, 16, to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
James bought his winning Lucky Dip from a convenience store in Greenock.
For 25 years The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK. Since November 19th 1994 there have been more than 5,700 new millionaires created and over £41 billion has been given to good causes across the UK.Discover more