Essex dad scoops £9.3Million Lotto jackpot
A football fan from Essex thought he’d won £9,000 before realising it was actually £9.3Million. The dad of three from Wickford celebrated with a cup of tea before going out and buying a new car.
Paul Long, 55, matched all six main numbers to win the Lotto jackpot and walk away with an enormous cheque for £9,339,858. He is putting his life-changing win down to a rare Leyton Orient home win on Saturday afternoon. A lifelong fan, Paul decided the win was a lucky omen and celebrated by going online and buying a Lucky Dip ticket for that night’s Lotto draw.
“I try to go to most home games and this was our first win since before Christmas so I was feeling pretty chuffed, not half as chuffed as I’m feeling now.”
A father to three grown-up children, Paul recently moved into a new rented home in Wickford. Out of work for some time due to health issues, he was readying himself for a job hunt when he saw his emails on Sunday morning.
“When I saw the email from Camelot I thought it would be a few quid but when I logged into my account the account balance was still £3.90. Then I saw another message which I thought was congratulating me on a £9,000 win and to call the number on the screen.
“When I called I think I must have misheard the lady on the line because she congratulated me on a jackpot win and while she confirmed a £9Million win, I think I must have still been in denial as I still thought it was £9,000. I was well happy and thought that would ease things as I started the job hunt.”
Still sure that he was a winner of £9,000 Paul rang his mate to share the good news. When he said he’d won the jackpot, his friend told him it was not nine grand but more than £9Million and the job hunt could be put on hold permanently.
“I have to admit it’s been a crazy few days and it’s only been in the last 24 hours that I have dared to believe it’s real. But now that it’s starting to sink in I’m able to do a little shopping and make some exciting plans for the future.”
An employee at Ford’s Dagenham plant for more than a decade, Paul’s first purchase was to trade in his 16 year-old Fiesta for a brand new Ford EcoSport. But a new motor isn’t the best thing about the win for Paul.
“The very best thing about this win is that it’s big enough for me to share it with those closest to me and make sure everyone is looked after.”
“My kids will all be secure for life and I can also help out friends, whether that’s a little cash boost, a holiday, to take in a show or just enjoy a posh meal. I keep saying, I want this win to help change people’s faces so that they go from humdrum to beaming grin. This is going to be one hell of an exciting adventure. The future is going to be very rosy, but it’s not just my rosy journey, I fully intend to take everyone on the journey with me!”