Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Retired Bideford bus driver wins £95k on Lotto

11:31 23 May 2014

National Lottery Winner Eric Wilson in Bideford. 
Pic by Martin Bennett

National Lottery Winner Eric Wilson in Bideford. Pic by Martin Bennett

©Martin Bennett 2014

Lottery win is ‘icing on the cake’ for 70-year-old to ‘enjoy retirement’ in Bideford.

National Lottery Winner Eric Wilson in Bideford. 
Pic by Martin BennettNational Lottery Winner Eric Wilson in Bideford. Pic by Martin Bennett

A RETIRED bus driver from Bideford who stashed his winning Lotto ticket in a biscuit tin for four days after discovering he’d won nearly £95,000.

Eric Wilson, 70, matched five numbers in the Lotto draw and hid his ticket in the safest place he could think of as he was due to go on holiday.

Eric said: “When I told a friend that even though I’d won the Lottery, I was still planning to go away and leave the ticket in a safe place, he said, ‘But what if the flat burns down?’, that’s why I put it in the tin.

“When I realised I had won, I panicked.

“The first thing I did was call my lady friend, Pat, and told her to come over straight away – she thought I was having a heart attack and couldn’t believe it when I told her what had happened.”

Father-of-two and grandfather-of-four Eric actually won three times on one ticket, scooping £94,340 on one line and matching three numbers on two other lines to claim £25 each time.

Eric is originally from South London but moved to Bideford in 1974 where he worked for First Great Western and then National Express.

He said: “I actually picked up the Lotto play slip a few weeks ago and filled it in with different combinations of the same spread of numbers.

“I don’t know what prompted me to take it to the newsagent that particular day but thank goodness I did.

“I’ve told my children but we haven’t celebrated yet, I think I’m still waiting for it to sink in.

“I have bought myself a new car though, a second-hand Peugeot 508, and am hoping to go away for a special trip at the end of the summer.

“This win really is just the icing on the cake for me, it means that I can enjoy my retirement without worrying about money.”

Eric’s winning numbers were 16, 17, 38, 44 and 49 with the bonus ball of 14. The winning ticket was bought from McColl’s newsagent in Bideford.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:25
Frederick and Agnes Reed

American family seeking to reunite their grandfather with his beloved wife, who is buried somewhere in Bideford

Read more
Yesterday, 13:38
North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Healthcare trust to keep impact on services minimal throughout industrial action

Read more
Yesterday, 12:39
The Coca-Cola Christmas lorry will be in Barnstaple Square until 8pm today. Picture: Andy Keeble

Famous red lorry brings festive cheer to town Square

Read more
Thu, 16:51
Fore Street Christmas market will be undercover this year. Picture: Sally Almond

Sunday’s event will go ahead as planned, but undercover in case of inclement weather

Read more
Thu, 15:19
The proposed hotel in Westward Ho!

Planning inspector overturns Torridge District Council decision to refuse ‘in principle’ plans for 15-bed ‘Whotel’

Read more
Thu, 12:05
Could Eleanor Grant's song In Your Arms be a Christmas number one?

Teenage singer’s song for new animated movie about the Louisa lifeboat launch makes its bid for festive chart success

Read more
Thu, 10:29
Abi Calvert and Darcy Baldock at the Ilfracombe Lighting of the Lights.

‘Best crowd in years’ as thousands gather to kick off ‘combe’s Christmas

Read more
Thu, 09:49
Get your panto tickets on Black Friday

Get a special Black Friday discount to see Cinderella at the Queen’s Theatre

Read more
Thu, 09:48
Plans for the lower High Street corner entrance of Green Lanes shopping centre, Barnstaple

Entrance to shopping centre could be drastically modernised if owners’ plans are given the green light

Read more
Thu, 08:00
Emma Perry from Children's Hospice South West, John Cockram and Leo Cooper from North Devon Hospice. Picture: Elliot Anderton

Christmas trees have been donated to two hospices in North Devon.

Read more

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas Magazine

Click here for your ultimate guide to
Christmas in North Devon

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications