A COUPLE from Chichester were handed the best early Christmas present of a life-changing lottery win, making them £500,000 better off.
The lucky couple, David, 56, and Karen Ainger, 57, are still pinching themselves after their Thunderball win on Wednesday, December 10 and have hailed it as the perfect end to 2014.
Karen bought the Lucky Dip ticket at Sainsbury’s on Westhampnett Road in Chichester and it was her who discovered the win.
She said: “We are creatures of habit and always buy our tickets when we are doing the supermarket shop, putting the tickets in a little plastic wallet on the coffee table at home ready to be checked after the draws.
“On this occasion, David had already gone to bed and I was thinking about following him when I remembered the tickets hadn’t been checked.
“I wasn’t really paying too much attention but when I saw that our Lucky Dip five numbers and Thunderball matched I soon sat up!”
She rushed to wake up David and after he confirmed the numbers matched Karen turned to her bleary-eyed husband of 26 years and said: ‘We’ve just won half a million pounds!’
Despite a round of pre-Christmas visits to friends and family the weekend after they discovered the win, they managed to keep their lips sealed about the exciting news.
David said: “We are a quiet couple who enjoy the quiet life. We will be using the winnings to pay off a small car loan and credit cards, and then the rest is going into investments for our retirement.”
Karen though is planning to spend some of the cash on one of her passions.
“I’m a Friend of Chichester Festival Theatre and I love going, I try to attend at least one or two shows each season,” she said.
“Now that we can pay off all our debts, I will have more disposable income for tickets. I’ve already got my eye on the Russian Ballet, and I’m going to have a jolly good look through the brochure over Christmas to book in a few more.”