Single father wins £1 million from EuroMillions lottery after playing for the first time

Electrician recalls a voice in his head telling him to play the game

By Kate Northrop

COVENTRY, United Kingdom — Simon Waddup, 31, entered the National Lottery EuroMillions draw game for the very first time. As luck would have it, the impulse buy earned him a £1 million (US$1.25 million) prize.

While shopping at the local Aldi in Coventry, the lucky electrician repeatedly heard a voice in his head telling him to buy a lottery ticket on May 19. The nagging feeling persisted even as Waddup was on his way home.

After Waddup returned from the store, he looked at his National Lottery account online and noticed that he had £5 left in his wallet.

“I have played Instant Win Games on the National Lottery website but never a main draw game,” he said. “I didn’t even know what day it was or what type of draw was available next but saw I could buy a EuroMillions Lucky Dip for £2.50.”

Waddup decided to buy two tickets for that night’s draw and completely forgot about it until the next morning. While waiting for a delivery at 8:30 am, he checked his phone and saw a message from the National Lottery. Upon seeing the notification alerting him of a £1 million prize win, he was in disbelief. It wasn’t until he called the National Lottery hotline that he could believe it was real.

“I was then in a bit of a daze, just shaking,” he recalled. “The first person I told was my ten-year-old daughter. She asked if she could now have a passport, seeing as she has never been abroad.”

The single father treated himself to a new coffee machine and his children to some new clothes and sneakers that they picked out themselves. As far as his future plans go, he says he wants to take them on a vacation once the pandemic settles and the lockdown is over. A potential trip to Spain looks to be on the horizon — his daughter had once asked that they go there.

Waddup views the big prize win as a boost for the career he had dreamed of pursuing since he was young — a property developer.

“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to buy old properties, do them up, and build my own portfolio.”

Along the way, friends and family dismissed his dream, but Waddup remained steadfast and molded his career choices to better angle himself to succeed in the industry. He studied Design and Technology as a teenager and gathered work experience while shadowing an electrician. He also learned about various other trades while working on building sites and studied building planning in his spare time, all the while studying to become an electrician himself. Since the life-changing win, Waddup has devoted time to researching properties online so that he could begin building a portfolio.

On top of fueling his career ambitions, the lottery prize comes as a relief amidst Waddup’s myriad of health conditions that limit his ability to work. A rare blood disorder means that he must take blood-thinning tablets to prevent blood clots, while a faulty heart valve has landed him in the hospital several times over the past few years.

“It has affected my ability to work. In fact, I haven’t been able to work since last summer, which has been so frustrating,” Waddup said. “Lady Luck must have been smiling down on me and said, ‘you need this now.'”

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