A computer programmer from Portslade has become a millionaire thanks to a winning raffle number on his EuroMillions ticket.
Alex Wheatley, 26, was one of 100 British millionaires created from the draw on Friday 27 July – the night of the Olympic opening ceremony.
He bought three lucky dip tickets through his online National Lottery account with the main draw prize standing at about £118 million. No one won and tomorrow (Tuesday 7 August) the jackpot is estimated to be worth £148 million.
Mr Wheatley didn’t check his ticket until Sunday evening (29 July) and, like a number of our Olympic medallists, he ended up shedding tears of joy.
But the next day he was back at work for an IT company in Shoreham where he plans to stay.
He said: “Because I always play online, I tend to play and forget about it.
“So it wasn’t until Sunday night that I checked my emails on my tablet and saw there was a message from National Lottery about a win.
“I thought it was going to be another tenner or £2.60 – which seems to come up a lot – but then staring me in the face was £1,000,006.”
The £6 came from another of his three tickets.
He said: “I quickly logged on with my laptop because I was sure there must be some mistake because it was such an odd number for a top prize.
“I then walked into the living room where mum and dad were watching Sunday night TV and said: ‘I don’t want to jump the gun but I think I’m a millionaire!’
“It was amazing to tell people about the win and I was astounded at the responses. Everyone was so happy for me.
“One of my closest friends even shed a tear, which then set my sister off and I was not far behind. We definitely needed the tissues to hand on Sunday night.”
Mr Wheatley reckons that, in a roundabout way, his boss is also a winner as he had been planning to ask for a pay rise on Monday so that he could start saving for a house.
He may still ask for a rise but not just yet.
He aims to buy a house and, as a self-confessed petrol head, he wants it to include a garage. He may also buy a car – a white Citroen DS3. A sizeable chunk will be invested to provide a nest egg for the future.
He added: “I always said if I won, I’d pay off my parents’ mortgage. They’ve done so much for me so it will be great to do that for them.
“My sister Hannah has already decided she will be moving in with me to the new house but it will be nice to take her on a shopping spree too.”
Mr Wheatley is one of more than 2,800 millionaires to have been created since the lottery started in 1994.