The mystery winner of an unclaimed multi-million dollar lotto jackpot was revealed to be a construction worker who drove around for six weeks with the winning ticket tucked inside the visor of his van.
51-year-old Andrew Clark had worked through weeks of bitterly cold weather before he finally checked the ticket – and he only did so because his wife-of-four-years, Trisha Fairhurst, and his niece kept nagging him to do so.
It’s a good thing that they did, too, because Clark ended up winning $96 million (£76 million).
“Trisha kept telling me to to check the tickets, and her niece Louise, who I was building an extension for, was also in on it once she’d heard about the unclaimed prize in the news,” said Clark, who is from Lincolnshire, England. “It was something of a standing joke that I had all the tickets while there was a local prize outstanding, so for weeks they were on at me to check.”
“It was about 8pm and we were watching telly when Louise reminded me again about the tickets,” he added. “I finally gave in, got the bundle out of the van and started to work my way through them, methodically from the oldest to the most recent.”
“You might say I was winding up Louise, but I certainly didn’t expect the wind-up to end with me saying, ‘I’ve done it, I’ve won £76M’ – I won’t say what she said in response.”
The company behind the lottery, Camelot, spent weeks searching for the holder of the winning EuroMillions ticket after the November 2nd draw.
“It almost feels like some magical Christmas story, the man who nearly lost 76 million,” says Clark. “For all our family, I’m very pleased that Trisha and Louise nagged me to check those tickets. This Christmas is going to be a quiet affair, but next year will be a different story.
“This win isn’t just about Christmas magic, it’s about creating a lifetime of magical moments for all those around us.”
Andrew was 70 miles away from home when he called his wife to tell her the news.
“I’d just got back from work and was settling in for a quiet evening when Andrew called and said ‘you know that £76M, well I’ve just won it,’” said Fairhurst. “Obviously I didn’t believe a word of it, even when my niece came on the phone to say it was true I still couldn’t take it in.”
“It’s been great choosing a new home and cars but without question, the best bit about the win is how we can help all our family,” says Fairhurst “We can quite simply change their lives, whether that’s paying off mortgages or supporting them in their future endeavors.
“It’s been amazing to put a smile on everyone’s face, and the fact it’s at Christmas makes it that little bit more magical.”
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