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EuroMillions Winner Eyes New Career And Pet Hamster

Last Updated: Friday 2nd August 2019, 13:44

A husband and wife from Basingstoke have revealed their plans for the future after winning £1 million on EuroMillions. As well as investing for the future, embarking on a new career and buying a new home, they want to grant their young son his only wish - a pet hamster.

Ian Bennett decided to buy a couple of Lucky Dips for the draw on Friday 19th July after noticing a poster for the £96 million draw, making his purchase at News Centre in Festival Place. He didn’t realise there were also a guaranteed 20 prizes of £1 million in a special edition of the Millionaire Maker, and was stunned to discover the next day that he was a winner.

He immediately texted wife Debbie to say they needed to talk, before thinking that his message might sound a bit scary and adding ‘Nothing Bad’. She was at work, caring at a local nursing home, and nervously rang back when she picked up Ian’s message on her lunch break.

She didn’t know what to expect and was so surprised to hear her husband’s news that she dropped her sandwich, before running into the residents’ lounge and screaming ‘we’ve just one £1 million’. Having already told their friends, family and nursing home residents about the win, Ian and Debbie decided to go public when they came forward to claim their money.

‘It’s Flipping Magic’

They have already given a lot of thought about what to do next, and Ian sees an opportunity to give up his driving job and retrain as an electrician. He said: “I’ve been wanting a fresh challenge for a while but, with a family to support, this just wasn’t an option in the foreseeable future. Now, thanks to that quick purchase, I can follow a different path and our family can be financially secure all in one go. It’s flipping magic!”

Debbie has no desire to quit her job but she will cut her hours so they can spend more time together as a family, and they will also begin to look for a new home in the Basingstoke area.

Speaking about what else they plan to do, Ian added: “We’re going to tie up a fair portion of the win so that we have financial security in the future but a new home is definitely on the cards. We don’t plan to leave the area, Debbie loves her job and the children are settled in school, but somewhere with a bit more room would be perfect.”

One of Ian’s concerns is that he needs enough space at the new home to keep his vinyl collection, having previously had to hire a storage unit because he has too many records. The Bennetts will also need to make sure their new place is hamster-friendly, having asked their kids if they would like anything.

Ian said: “When we explained to the children that we had won the lottery they only had two requests, our daughter made us promise we wouldn’t leave the area and our young son wanted a pet, a hamster. I think we can stretch to that.”

Millionaire Maker Prizes

Sixteen of the 20 winners from the special Millionaire Maker draw have already claimed their prizes. The rest of the lucky ticket holders have 180 days from the date of the draw to come forward, giving them until 15th January 2020 at the latest. Go to the Unclaimed Prizes page to see where these tickets were sold.

You are automatically entered into the Millionaire Maker when you play EuroMillions in the UK, with a random raffle code generated for every line you enter. Use the EuroMillions Checker to see if you have a winning ticket from the last 180 days.

You can also look forward to the next draw and the chance to win a £43 million jackpot. The top prize has not been won since a player from Spain pocketed £96 million on 19th July.

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