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Furloughed Painter Lands ‘Dream Win in Uncertain Times’

Furloughed Painter Lands ‘Dream Win in Uncertain Times’

A man from Northern Ireland has expressed his gratitude after landing a £300,000 National Lottery prize. The windfall arrived at the perfect time for kitchen painter Robert Fullerton after he was recently furloughed from his job.

The coronavirus crisis has left millions of people in the UK unable to work. Robert, 30, and wife Susan, 25, are among those to have been placed on temporary leave by their employer due to the outbreak. Like many others, they have been concerned about the future of their jobs.

However, their fortunes changed when Robert bought two scratchcards from a store at Magherafelt Road in their home town of Castledawson in County Londonderry. He usually only plays EuroMillions once a month and buys a scratchcard ‘once in a blue moon’, but this spur-of-the-moment decision on 4th May paid off with a £300,000 win.

Recalling the moment it was confirmed, he said: “After a restless night, with little or no sleep, I called the National Lottery the following morning. They asked for some details and then, I’ll never forget, the lady on the phone said… Congratulations, you have won £300,000’!

“My reply was ‘you what?’ My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. In fact, I still can’t believe it. It’s like a dream come true, especially in these uncertain times when we’re stuck at home and don’t really know how our jobs will be affected by this coronavirus pandemic.”

A New Home and Trip to Benidorm

Robert and Susan have already begun making plans for how to spend their winnings. They are looking forward to moving home and going on their first overseas holiday together when the current restrictions are lifted.

Robert said: "The biggest thing we’ll do with our winnings is buy a new house in the area. As a keen darts player, it’ll definitely have a ‘man cave’ with a dart board and a big TV. Also, we know it might be some time away, but when people are able to travel again, we’ll go on a holiday to Benidorm.”

A loyal Liverpool fan, Robert added: “I’m a lifelong red so I’ll definitely be buying myself a new strip and making the trip across to Anfield a few times. If Susan supported Liverpool, I’d consider our own box at the stadium – but unfortunately she’s a Chelsea fan so that’s not really going to work."

Despite his big win and the financial freedom it brings, Robert is hoping to be able to return quickly as he loves his job and misses the ‘banter’ with his workmates.

Robert bought his scratchcard as part of his essential shop and the National Lottery has reminded players that they should not go out specifically to play games, even though the lockdown is now beginning to ease. A safer, and more convenient, alternative is to take part online, with prizes paid automatically into your account.

Published: Wednesday 13th May 2020

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