Scratchcard millionaire wants to learn to sail after lifetime beside the sea

A maintenance manager has said he has no intention of retiring after winning £1 million on a National Lottery scratchcard.

Kevin Francis, 61, from Fareham in Hampshire, said he picked the Merry Millions scratchcard when his partner, Brenda, 75, asked him to pop to the shop to buy her a couple.

He said: “Brenda is not very well so for her the odd scratchcard is something of a treat to pass the time.

“I’d just got back from work and she asked if I’d go and buy her a couple, I have to admit I wasn’t keen to go out again but I’m very pleased that I did.

Lottery scratchcard winner
Kevin Francis enjoys a swig of champagne under the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth (Steve Parsons/PA)

“I rarely buy them myself so I still don’t know what made me put my hand in my pocket to find exactly £10 in £1 coins, and then opt for two £5 scratchcards.

“I can’t help thinking it’s a catalogue of unusual events which have combined to create an amazing result.”

Mr Francis said when he revealed the winning symbols on the second card, he said that “it just didn’t register”.

He continued: “I must have been in total shock because I left the scratchcard on the kitchen worktop and didn’t tell Brenda for an hour or so.

“When I did eventually tell her that I thought I’d won £1 million she thought I was winding her up, and then couldn’t believe how calm I was about it all, but I guess that’s just my nature.”

Lottery scratchcard winner
Mr Francis has no plans to retire early (Steve Parsons/PA)

Mr Francis added: “My family keeps asking if I’ll retire but for now I’m happy in my work so won’t be hanging up my tools anytime soon. That said, it’s comforting to know that if I do decide to retire early, I can.

“Brenda has a number of mobility issues due to her health so once the win was confirmed we both got excited about moving to a bungalow, but on reflection we love our home so we might instead stay put but do some renovations to make it more comfortable for us.”

Mr Francis, who was born and works in Portsmouth, said he was considering upgrading from his Hyundai i35 car and added: “There’s one thing this win will enable me to do and that’s learn to sail. I’ve lived by the sea all my life and always wanted to but either never had the time or the money to start.

“While I might not be buying sports cars or taking exotic holidays any time soon, perhaps sailing a yacht one day in the future will be my nod to being a lottery millionaire.”

Mr Francis’ winning scratchcard was bought at Fairfield Avenue PO and Stores on Bishopsfield Road in Fareham.

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