Hampshire lottery winner used photo of £2m scratchcard win as IOU for pet parrot’s vet bill

A lottery winner from Hampshire has described how she used a photo of her £2 million scratchcard win as an IOU for payment for an urgent vet bill for her pet parrot.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:30 pm
Lesley Herbert won £2 million on a lottery scratchard. Picture: James Robinson/Camelot/PA Wire

Animal lover Lesley Herbert, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, said the African grey, who is called Bibi, dislocated its foot while she was waiting to have her winnings confirmed.

The mother-of-four said: ‘It was a crazy moment when I found out I had won and, just as I was waiting to get the ticket validated, everything got a little more chaotic as Bibi, one of my African grey rescue parrots, had an accident, dislocating her foot.

‘The vet team were brilliant but were very shocked when I showed them a picture of the scratchcard as an IOU.

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Bibi the parrot. Picture: Camelot/PA Wire

‘They laughed that they’d never before been shown a £2 million winning scratchcard as a guarantee the bill would be paid.’

Ms Herbert, 42, is now searching for the perfect home for her family and her collection of animals, including Bibi and another parrot, as well as two rescue dogs Nicko and Luna.

She is also hoping to finally have the space to house some chickens she has been waiting to buy.

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‘I am still trying to get my head around the win but I have already been looking for what kind of house I could buy – a farm with a bit of land would be amazing, so I can rescue more animals in need,’ she explained.

‘In the longer term I would love to look at starting my own animal shelter charity.

‘This win will also mean so much to my four children. I’ll be able to set them up for life, which is something I never dreamt I would ever be able to say, let alone do.’

Ms Herbert also aims to fulfil her dream holiday, a trip to the Bahamas to visit Pig Beach to swim with the pigs that live there.

Describing her win, she said: ‘I popped to the shops to buy some spinach, of all things, but decided against it and ended up getting a chocolate orange bar.

‘For some reason I was also feeling quite lucky, so treated myself to a Monopoly Riches National Lottery Scratchcard.

‘When I went to the shop, I even said to the shop assistant ‘I’m feeling lucky today’.

‘My grandad died in December and he always used to say to me ‘when I win the lottery, I’ll buy you the big house on top of the hill’, so I can’t help feeling he was with me that day, telling me to buy the ticket – I just wish he was here to see it.

‘I played the scratchcard at home, thankfully one of my sons is home-working so was able to tell me I wasn’t seeing things when I revealed the £2 million winning symbol, and that I’d better call Camelot.’

Ms Herbert bought her winning Monopoly Riches National Lottery Scratchcard at The Co-operative in Limes Park, Basingstoke.

The scratchcard offers a one in 3.38 overall chance of winning a prize, which ranges from £5 to £2 million.

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