Retired Bideford bus driver wins £95k on Lotto

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

Friday, May 23, 2014
11:31 AM

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

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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.

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