Harlow man credits shift change at work for £500k Thunderball win

Entertainment / Wed 25th Jan 2023 at 12:11pm

£500,000 Thunderball Win 

A LUCKY man from Harlow is celebrating a £500,000 Thunderball win, which he believes came about because he was ‘in the right place, at the right time’ to buy the life-changing ticket.

A Machine Setter for the automotive industry, Jeff Etherington (65) had swapped to the early shift so that he could attend a hospital appointment on 11 January. While the meeting about his knee replacement hadn’t gone well, his subsequent visit to the supermarket to buy a Thunderball Lucky Dip ticket turned out to be significantly more successful. Jeff said.

“I’ve always believed that one day I would win big. It’s taken 28 years but here we are, I’m heading into retirement with £500,000 extra to my name. 

“I can’t help thinking it’s fate, had I not swapped shifts for that hospital appointment, I wouldn’t have been buying my Lucky Dip ticket at that exact moment and some other lucky person might now be celebrating instead!”

For Jeff, and his fiancée Kim (60), who have five children and eight grandchildren between them, the win will mean they can say ‘I do’. Jeff said,

“We’ve been together for six years, and finally got engaged in 2021. We always knew we would get married eventually but the money was always spent on something else. Now that ‘eventually’ wedding can happen imminently!

The couple’s £500,000 adventure started when Jeff checked the ticket. He said,

“I was pretty absent minded about it but as I saw the winning Thunderball numbers online they all seemed familiar and as I ticked each one off I realised we’d won. I turned to Kim and said ‘We’ve won £500,000’ she responded by telling me to go away, but in quite colourful language!”

“I was convinced it must be a joke but the logical part of my brain kept telling me it was a real ticket so must be a real win, using the same logic I decided to check The National Lottery app. Scanning my ticket the app told me the results were not yet available, I must have scanned it about 100 times until suddenly it pinged and £500,000 popped up in the window.”

The following morning Jeff was able to confirm the win and share the wonderful news with family and work colleagues. He said,

“I messaged a few of my work colleagues, including my boss, a screenshot of the ticket and my winning £500,000 message from the app. My boss congratulated me and then immediately said ‘guess that means you’ll be handing in your notice’ I think he was very relieved when I confirmed he’d have to put up with me for a bit longer. 

“When I walked into the workshop the following day, word had spread and everyone clapped and cheered, it was a surreal moment.”

Looking ahead to the future, keen fisherman Jeff has a few ideas but admits that they seem to have completed many ‘when I win the Lottery’ moments already. He said,

“I’m sure in time we will get the hang of being National Lottery winners but at the moment, we’re hard pushed to think of a ‘must do’. We’ve both replaced our cars relatively recently, we’ve had our home redecorated and a new kitchen fitted, the bathroom is booked to be renovated next month and we had already booked and paid for our holiday to Lanzarote, it’s almost like we knew we were going to win! 

“Having said that, the day the win was confirmed I did have a look at marlin fishing in Hawaii to celebrate but changed my mind and we booked a four night break at a luxury lodge, complete with hot tub on the deck, instead!” 

Jeff bought his winning Thunderball ticket from Sainsburys in Harlow. The winning Thunderball numbers on Wednesday 11 January were; 1, 8, 25, 33, 34 and the Thunderball was 5. 

Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £30M is generated each week for National Lottery-funded projects. This money helps support everything from the local charity making a difference where you live through to helping our nations’ athletes win medals at the Commonwealth Games. To date, over £47BN has been raised for National Lottery Good Causes, with more than 670,000 individual grants awarded.

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6 Comments for Harlow man credits shift change at work for £500k Thunderball win:

2023-01-25 13:36:30

well done

2023-01-25 19:28:58

Well done, a nice story and a happy ending for once

2023-01-25 19:37:21

Yes Jeff! Go on lad!

2023-01-26 07:54:52

At least enough to cover the winter fuel bill! Nice to hear something happy :-)

2023-01-26 11:29:23

Good luck to you both.

2023-01-26 19:01:31

What a lovely story for a change great news for you and your family enjoy

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