Fred and Lesley Higgins, a couple of retirees from Aberdeenshire, Scotland have recently claimed the huge £57.9 million jackpot they won in the EuroMillions draw of July 10th. All is well when it ends well, but their story almost turned into no story because of a shop keeper’s mistake.
Mr. Higgins purchased his EuroMillions ticket at Scotmid in Laurencekirk. As usual, he went back to the store to check his ticket after the draw. The shop worker put it through the machine and, without realizing it was a winning one, ripped it into two and chucked it in the bin. That very moment, the lottery terminal produced a chitty saying the ticket holder should retain his entry and call Camelot. The show worker immediately took the ticket out of the bin and handed it back to the winner.
Back home, Mr. Higgins decided to double check before calling Camelot. He looked up the EuroMillions winning numbers, and it was all confirmed: “the first matched, then the second matched, match, match – we had them all!” He was not the only one who found it hard to believe. When his wife Lesley woke up, Fred “showed her the numbers, asked her to check and she misread them, thinking we were £5.7 million richer rather than an amazing £57 million!” When she came to terms with reality, Lesley grabbed the winning ticket and stashed it into a brown envelope labelled “money worries over”.
Such a story had to be checked by Camelot into detail. The official operator’s security team visited the two. They also studied the CTV footage from the shop to make sure the story of the torn ticket is true. In the end, everything turned out just fine. The ticket was validated and the win was cashed. The Higgins scooped their money and they can start their worriless life.
What are they planning to do with the money? Married for 35 years, the two say they “had a really comfortable life before the win”, but their dream is living abroad. “We love Gozo, which is where my niece lives, so we always thought we would get somewhere out there. But I have to say since we won, I’ve got my eye on somewhere in France and Lesley seems to be looking at a property in Barbados. I think it might be fun to explore a few places before we commit to buying anything.”