Paul Walker won the £150,000 Irish Lotto jackpot at Betfred from just a £1 stake – and it couldn’t have come a better time
The 56-year-old grandad (above) has just been told he’s being made redundant from a Tameside chemical company, and he was worried about having to re-train for another job.
He was having a very bad week with him thinking his work mates were winding him up about the “mystery” lucky punter that was the talk of Hyde, and as if that wasn’t enough he’d had severe toothache after losing a filling!
But all that’s forgotten now as Paul and wife Susan (pictured) have already booked a luxury holiday in Mexico, are planning a Mediterranean cruise, as well as buying a new car – while all the talk in the family is making sure they have a Christmas to remember.
Betfred staff turned detectives to try to track Paul, from nearby Dukinfield, who put the Irish Lotto bet on as an afterthought with a spare £1 after spending half an hour studying form for a football accumulator wager which failed.
He said, “I’m a United fan but the odds on a Watford win were better so I knew all about my failed acca on Saturday afternoon, but forgot about the lottery ticket which I left in my shirt pocket.
On Saturday night we stayed in and watched a few films when we could have been celebrating as the draw was that day. Then on Sunday I did a few chores around the house but on Monday at our second brew break at work it started with people asking about who the winner was.
It went on all day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with my mates all asking about who the mystery man was. I just imagined it was all a big joke because they knew I had been in the Betfred shop on Saturday morning – and I didn’t even bother checking the slip for four days. “
Paul, who earns £30,000 a year as a process operator, only started to believe that he might indeed be the missing winner after a friend phoned him at home to implore him to check his numbers – and another pal Steve Strong went into the Betfred shop at Ashton Road, Newton, where extra staff had been drafted in to find the lucky punter who they remembered had black hair and wore glasses.
“I’m being made redundant next year so this brilliant win has come at just the right time. I can’t believe it. I had sorted by football acca, and just thought I would have a go trying to get five numbers on the Irish Lotto. I had some change and thought to myself that I’d had some bad luck recently and could do with a miracle, so went for a lucky dip so the numbers are picked at random….then I forgot all about it.
With all the fuss I decided after I couldn’t get an emergency dental appointment to go to Betfred on Thursday with the slip that was still in my shirt pocket – and I could tell straight away from the expression of the young girl behind the counter that I was the winner they were looking for.”
He continued, “I’m going to slip Steve a few quid and with the 12 other lads at work we’re going on a pub crawl to celebrate. Susan was ill the last time we went on a cruise so we’ll do that again so she can see the places she missed. We’ve already booked to go to Mexico next year and I will be getting a newer car to transport all the children around.”
Wife Susan, aged 59, added, “We as a family are going to have our best-ever Christmas. I have always given him stick about going to Betfred and he’d say that I would change my mind if he won big – and I have! When he came in on Thursday he was in a state of shock because he had no colour in his face and I thought it was his toothache – then he told me he’d won £150,000, and he couldn’t stop hugging me.”
Betfred boss Fred Done, who has personally congratulated Paul on his good fortune, said, “It is perfect timing for Paul to beat the odds and win so much from such a tiny stake just as he’s to lose his job. Our staff (Holly and Emily are pictured) did an excellent job finding Paul, while the moral of this story is to always check your betting slips.”