Fareham grandad becomes instant millionaire after National Lottery scratchcard win

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A MAINTENANCE manager from Fareham has been revealed by the National Lottery as the lucky winner of £1m.

Grandfather of one Kevin Francis, 61, scooped the mammoth prize from a £5 Merry Millions scratchcard on Tuesday.

He bought the game from the Fairfield Avenue Post Office in Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, after strolling in with a pocketful of change.

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The father of two had only intended to treat his partner Brenda, 75, to a scratch card after he got back from work - but opted to buy one himself in the heat of the moment.

Kevin Francis at Eden in Gunwharf Quays this morning
Picture: Habibur RahmanKevin Francis at Eden in Gunwharf Quays this morning
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Kevin Francis at Eden in Gunwharf Quays this morning Picture: Habibur Rahman | JPIMedia Resell

Mr Francis, who works in the Portsmouth area, took his prize public today.

He said: 'I played the first [scratchcard] and won nothing, and thought that was about my usual luck.

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'I'd almost finished the Merry Millions scratchcard when on the last game I revealed three aeroplane symbols and my luck changed instantly.

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'When I revealed the 1 and then the M it just didn't register.'

Left in total shock, Mr Francis stayed tight-lipped about the win and only told Brenda after more than an hour passed.

In the meantime the scratchcard was left on the kitchen worktop of his Fareham home.

Cheers bellowed through the couple's home when Brenda was eventually told of the good news.

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Mr Francis said: 'When I did eventually tell her that I thought I'd won £1,000,000 she thought I was winding her up, and then couldn't believe how calm I was about it all, but I guess that's my nature.'

Now the pair, who have been together for 17 years, are considering relocating to a bungalow in Fareham - a move that could be life-changing for Brenda, who faces mobility issues because of her health and struggles to get up the stairs.

While Mr Francis says life continues to be 'business as usual' after the win, he has announced plans to chase a childhood dream.

'My family keeps asking if I'll retire but for now I'm happy in my work so won't be hanging up my tools anytime soon,' he said.

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'There's one thing this win will enable me to do and that's learn to sail.

'I've lived by the sea all my life and always wanted to but either never had the time or the money to start.

'While I might not be buying a sports car or taking exotic holidays any time soon, perhaps sailing a yacht one day in the future will be my nod to being a lottery millionaire.'

Mr Francis also plans to pass down a portion of his winnings to his two children, who are in their 30s, and Brenda's child.

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The Merry Millions scratchcard offers a 1 in 3.49 chance of winning a cash prize, which ranges from £5 to £1m.