Scratchcard winners trade world tour for UK campervan trips due to lockdown

A couple who scooped a £1 million lottery scratchcard prize have been forced to trade in a world tour for campervan trips to Great Yarmouth and Harrogate.

Andrew and Paula Hancock, who thanked their cat Shortcake for their win after rushing out to buy pet food, had planned to take their son 13-year-old Xavier to the Tokyo Olympics.

But they instead had to change their holiday plans due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Mrs Hancock, 44, said the cat, known to the family as “Shorty”, had “put some weight on” since their win last year.

Mr Hancock, 47, had picked up a £5 Monopoly Millionaire scratchcard, winning one of the four £1 million jackpot prizes.

Andrew Hancock and Shortcake
Andrew Hancock and Shortcake

In the rush of excitement, Mr Hancock forgot to buy six-year-old ginger tom Shortcake’s food so the pet ended up with ham later that evening.

Explaining why Shortcake had put on weight, Mrs Hancock said: “It’s because we’re at home so much.

“Before, we were out the house a lot of the time so he was out – but now, because of the lockdown, we’ve been at home and every time Andy stands up the cat goes to his bowl.”

“He has his normal food,” Mr Hancock said. “He likes Felix.”

The couple, who live near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, said they had to cut Shortcake’s diet down from four pouches after hearing a family member only fed their cat one a day.

Addressing their new holiday plans, the couple spoke of how they had to exchange popular tourist destinations abroad for a “staycation”.

Mr Hancock said: “We had a couple of holidays planned prior to May time – Cyprus and Barcelona with friends – but we also had tickets for the Olympics in Tokyo.

Shortcake the cat
Shortcake the cat

“We were then going to fly from Tokyo to Bali, because that’s where we had our honeymoon, and then we were going to Darwin at the top of Australia and then further down into Western Australia.”

The couple, who sold their catering business after their jackpot win, said they wanted to take their son to the Olympics because he was a keen Judo fan.

Mrs Hancock added: “We were feeling a little bit down so we just thought, let’s go and make the most of it – there’s lots of lovely places here to go and see and we can do day trips.

“We’ve booked for Coniston Water in the Lake District, we’re going to go to Great Yarmouth or around that area, and we’re doing Harrogate next.”

During lockdown, the couple bought a pizza oven to make pizzas for their street to keep spirits high.

“Everybody was still quite scared and we were all clapping every Thursday,” Mrs Hancock said.

“We just wanted to do something nice so we sent out leaflets saying ‘we’re going to come and bring you a pizza’ and it was lovely.

“It was around 50 pizzas I think”.

Asked what the couple wanted to do next, Mrs Hancock said: “We’d love to do some glamping.

“We said just give ourselves this year off, don’t think about anything.

“But obviously, you do think when you’re sat at home all the time”.