THREE Hampshire work friends have scooped £1 million in the EuroMillions lottery, it has been revealed.
Fareham man Andy Wallace is one of the trio who will share the bumper pay out which came thanks to a winning Millionaire Raffle ticket.
The 45-year-old, together with colleagues Terry Hunt, 41, and Alison Gruar, 35, had been playing the EuroMillions every Tuesday and Friday for three years.
But the group, who work for a sailing holiday company, took the wise decision to reinvest some of their previous smaller winnings on a few extra lines on February 28.
Syndicate leader Terry checked their ticket online at work on Monday morning and immediately had to call over his fellow syndicate colleagues.
None of them could believe their eyes.
Andy revealed he is planning to buy a new Land Rover with his winnings.
“We waited the longest seven minutes of our lives for the Lottery prize validation line to open at 9am on Monday morning,” he said.
“We were literally willing the seconds and minutes to tick by to make sure what we hoped was true could be real. We just kept looking at each other not daring to believe it could be true.”
“When I phoned my wife, Hannah, I had a croak in my voice and she was in shock until I came home. We talked about it so much with friends and family that I forget to eat. My father-in-law wanted to make sure we would still go camping with them at Easter and of course we will. This win won’t change us but it will give us more freedom and security.
“My priority will be paying off the mortgage and setting aside some money for the children from what I will always think of as ‘Wonderful Monday’, the day that Terry, Alison and I found out we’d won one million pounds. But, one frivolous moment for me will be to buy a Land Rover.”
Terry, from Havant, said: “You can imagine the commotion in the office and it was so nice that everyone was genuinely delighted for us. In fact it was only towards the end of the day that I realised I’d left the winning ticket lying around on my desk for most of the time – we were all so carried away with excitement.”
“After all the commotion I called my fiancée, Adele, to tell her my news. Apparently I had turned white and was shaking as I made the call. It’s been a real rollercoaster of emotions ever since and very surreal. We are planning our wedding at the moment and it’s already our dream wedding so we won’t change that but this win opens up a whole world of possibilities for our honeymoon. We are thinking about going to Iceland to take our son to see the Northern Lights.
“We were hoping to buy a house and this win will make that wish a reality. In fact we are going to look at some houses this weekend. I have lived by the sea for all of my life, and have sailed since I was seven years old, so am hoping to be able to buy a sailing dinghy and continue that childhood passion.”
While Andy had fitful sleep after finding out about the win, fellow syndicate member Alison Gruar, at home in Purbrook with her husband Matt, had her first good night’s sleep for as long as she can remember after learning of the win.
Alison said: “I got married in January and then bought a new house - we also have a young child so I have been really worried about money to the point that I have been losing sleep.
“This win is a game changer for me. We will be able to pay off our debts and start enjoying life a bit more. The timing is impeccable and I really can’t believe my luck. We’re not frivolous people but this means I can stop watching every penny and start to relax!”
The EuroMillions ticket which bore the winning Millionaire Raffle selection, BXP474879, was bought from Tesco Extra, North Harbour.