GREAT-GRANDAD John Alford changed his Lotto routine and ended up winning £1.4 million.
The 76-year-old of Studley Green in Trowbridge, won not once but three times on Saturday after he changed his buying habit and queued up in Asda.
“There were a lot of people in the queue and I almost walked away to go to my usual store down the road, but something made me stay and here I am, a big winner. Sometimes fate works like that, I suppose.” he said.
His winning lucky dip ticket won him £1,437,220 in Saturday’s draw.
“We won £2 with a £100k Yellow Scratchcard, another £5 on Thunderball and more than £1.4m with a Lotto Lucky Dip. You could say Saturday the 13th was a very lucky day for us,” he said.
The retired Ushers lorry driver, who was once a fireman on the footplate of steam engines with the old Great Western Railway, cvelebrated with wife Pauline, 76, and his family at the Leigh Park Hotel in Bradford on Avon yesterday.
He said: “Pauline and I usually buy two Lucky Dips for every Saturday Lotto draw and check the numbers as they are drawn.
“But last Saturday we left the tickets on a window sill in the lounge at home and didn’t look at the numbers until the following morning.
“When I saw my numbers come up on teletext it was one of those moments when time stands still and you find it difficult to understand what’s going on.
“I can tell you now that it’s a wonderful, wonderful feeling knowing that we won’t have a financial care in the world for the rest of our days, and we can look after our family, too, and let them share in our luck. It’s just fantastic.”
His wife added: “John said ‘we’ve won’ and I just thought it would be about £10. But he said ‘no, we’ve won it’. I just said ‘oh right’ I was just numbed by it. I am still overwhelmed now.”
Mr Alford helped to set up the Studley Green Tenant and Residents Association in 1993 which has brought improvements to the area while he also served as chairman of Selwood Housing.
The couple, who have three grown-up children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
They will be taking more than 20 members of the family to Florida for a holiday.
“We’re a very close family and I’ve always dreamed of taking everyone to Florida and going on the roller coasters,” he said. “I’m a big kid at heart.
“But Pauline and I will also look to move home and maybe buy a bungalow close to our daughter, Debra.
“I am also going to buy a new car, something big enough to be able to transport the grandchildren around in. It’s all a dream come true.”
He added: “I’ve had such a varied and enjoyable life, I have been married for 56 years and my wife is certainly the stabliser in our relationship as I can talk for England, if she doesn’t stop me. To have this windfall to go towards our twlight years is just unbelievable.
“I’ve always said, if I won the lottery my main priority would be to look after the family and I always said I’d take them off to Flordia. So, it was all booked and paid for this morning 22 of us will be off there in July.
“I have been overwhelmed by just how people already knew and even this morning I had somebody contacting me saying it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.
He spoke fondly of his time with Selwood. “I’ve enjoyed looking after social housing during my life and you have to be part of it to know just how people are affected by decisions,” he said.
“I will be taking my true real friends out for a meal but I don’t have any big party planned.”
Mr Alford is well-known around the area and his son, Mike Alford, has been manager of Trowbridge Town Football Club, since January 2011.
He said: “My son is the manager of the football and he's been speaking to me about the team, we are planning to have a talk about it in the future.”