Warrington stock handler Simon Rustage was astonished when his £250,000 lottery scratchcard win turned out to be worth a quarter of a million pounds per year.
Simon, 47, was overjoyed to win the top prize on the Mega Rich scratchcard. "I just bought it and then didn't really think – I scratched it immediately in the store," he says. "I was absolutely delighted."
But what he didn't immediately realise was that he'd be getting the same payout every year for 15 years.
"It is absolutely unbelievable," he says. "This is just the best prize ever. It is like having a job with a £250,000 salary but not actually going into work."
Simon works at logistics company Norbert Dentressangle. "I am going to take my time over what I do and how I spend the money," he says. "I certainly have no plans to give up work at the present time."
However, he says, he's already drawn up a shopping list that includes a new car and a season ticket to see his beloved Rugby League team, Warrington Wolves.
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In January, a syndicate of current and former workers at the firm scooped a £1.7 million Lotto jackpot. The Part Timers, also keen Warrington Wolves fans, were astonished to discover their good fortune after forgetting to check their ticket for six weeks.
Simon will now receive a cheque for a quarter of a million pounds every October until 2029. "It is such a lovely way to receive the money – it provides me with security and reassurance," he says.
It's not unusual for lottery winners to take a while to realise exactly what they've won. Earlier this year, Massachusetts man Jeremy Lockett had a very similar experience to Simon Rustage, winning $50,000 - that turned out to be $50,000 for life.
Four years ago, postal worker Cemal Celikkanat actually threw away a £100,000 winning scratchcard because he misunderstood the rules of the game, believing the three £100,000 symbols on Camelot's Blue game had to be in a line to win. But by the time he realised the truth, the next day, the card had been incinerated - so he never got his win.
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