Winners

Michelle’s lost keys help unlock a £250,000 Scratchcard prize

Losing your keys is usually a frustrating experience. But a couple from Royal Tunbridge Wells reckon it helped them win an incredible £250,000 National Lottery prize.

Teacher Michelle Newton, 50, and her school caretaker husband John Simpson, 61, hope to use their windfall to carry out some renovations on their home, buy a rental property and take a dream holiday in Australia.

Recounting the story of how the lost keys unlocked a massive prize, Michelle said, “We were off to town in between Christmas and New Year to see the sales, just mooch really. But we couldn’t find the keys to lock up which made us late. On the way back we popped into the newsagents, later than planned, and decided to buy National Lottery tickets. With the change we purchased a Gold Scratchcard.

“We scratched the card outside the shop and we just stopped dead in our tracks. I said to John, ‘I can’t believe this is happening’. We just stood there in the street, cars whizzing past, shaking, realising we had won.”

John added, “We kept looking at the Scratchcard and thinking about what to do next. Michelle said she felt light-headed. So instead of going home, we diverted to the local pub, The Black Horse, for a pint before calling to claim our prize.”

When they got home Michelle phoned The National Lottery and confirmed the win.

She said, “I couldn’t stop shaking. To think that if we hadn’t lost our keys, we would have gone into the newsagents at a different time and bought a different Scratchcard and may never have won a thing.

“As a teacher of Science and Religious Studies I constantly ask pupils to think about how and why things happen. And yet here is a totally random event. One thing is for sure, we are never going to moan about losing our keys again.”

As well as a trip to Australia, the couple plan to raise a glass or two to their big win as part of John’s upcoming birthday celebrations.

Michelle said, “It’s been a whirlwind few weeks. John hasn’t slept much. We hid the Scratchcard in the lining of John’s coat and kept getting it out, looking at it over and over. And I still can’t believe we have won."

2nd February 2024

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,000 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £30 million for good causes every week.

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