ASK Roger Whitehouse how his Christmas and New Year went and he’ll say it was topsy-turvy.
The 67-year-old had lady luck to thank as he and wife Kath scooped a whopping £1m on the EuroMillions raffle prize... the day he got released from hospital.
Roger, a retired gas engineer, who used to live in Swindon but moved to Minehead last year, was diagnosed with a severe angina attack and admitted to hospital while visiting family in Swindon. It was there he bought the lucky dip ticket at Nisa, in Wingate Parade.
He said: “I went to hospital on the Saturday and they let me out on New Year’s Day, so I bought the ticket at about 6.20pm that evening.
“At first I thought we’d only won £8.20 until I checked the raffle number at the bottom.
“It’s not really sunk in. We’re lucky we’ve got good kids around us that have helped us through it.
“It’s been a bit nervy, especially after just coming out of hospital with a heart problem.”
The couple are already planning to move from their one-bedroom flat to a two-bedroom bungalow – with garden – and upgrade their Ford Focus car to a newer model.
They also hope to help their two children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and embark on a safari in Kenya.
“We want to help the grandchildren out – none of the family is going to go short,” said Kath.
Keen fisherman Roger admitted it was difficult to keep his success secret when he found out what he’d won the following day, telling his mates in the Royal British Club in the seaside town of the good news.
He added: “I couldn’t keep it a secret.
“When we went to see some friends on the following Sunday one asked what our Christmas had been like.
“I said I had a lovely Christmas, but ended up in hospital before New Year.
“I couldn’t say it was normal so I told him we’d come into a bit of money.”
Asked whether the millionaires will stay in Minehead, Roger said: “Definitely – we love it here.”
The couple celebrated their win with a cheque presentation, and the obligatory champagne, as St Audries Park Hotel, in West Quantoxhead, yesterday.