John’s ‘fin-tastic’ catch: a Set For Life top prize
John Stembridge, a keen fisherman and amateur photographer from Trowbridge, had long hoped to snap some pictures of an aquatic songbird known as a Dipper. So, when he finally got the elusive bird in his viewfinder he felt his dippers – sorry, ducks – had all lined up.
Feeling inspired by what can only be called his ‘Lucky Dipper’, the 51-year-old decided to buy a National Lottery Set For Life Lucky Dip ticket. And do you know what? John won the top prize of £10,000 every month for 30 years!
After working as a plasterer for the past 20 years, John can’t wait to ‘throw in the trowel’ and devote his time to his main passions: photography and fishing.
As well as becoming a professional photographer, he plans to open a luxury fishery and build his dream home on the edge of a lake. He intends to enjoy both pastimes by buying a camper van and going on a fishing adventure across Europe, capturing pictures of snow-capped mountains and his daily catch.
John said, “There will be no more days of coming home covered in plaster dust. Me and my family’s lives are now changed forever. It makes me so happy that I can now help and support my family and those closest to me. To be in the position where I get £10,000 every month, tax free, is just phenomenal. This National Lottery win has changed everything for me and those closest to me and I still just cannot believe it!”
Recounting his amazing win, John said he bought a ticket for the 18th May 2023 Set For Life draw, but didn’t remember to check it until weeks later. He said, “I was sitting in my van having a coffee after finishing a day of plastering and just noticed the ticket behind the visor. I was close to a shop so thought I would pop in and get the ticket checked, just in case there was anything on it.
“When the store assistant put it into the machine to check, the machine made a really strange noise – something I had never heard before.
“The assistant then said to me I would need to call the number on the ticket as it was a winning ticket, but she couldn’t pay me. I just thought I had maybe won £100. I went back to my van and called The National Lottery. My heart was racing. It was quite surreal – a National Lottery advert came on the radio at that very moment, playing the telephone call of a winner...and literally as this came on the radio my call was answered. The lady on the end of the phone said to me, ‘are you sitting down?’ She then confirmed that I had won the top prize. I literally burst into tears and I cried my eyes out. I could not believe it! My life was about to change forever – and this really was happening to me!”
9th August 2023
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