WHAT started out like any other normal day ended in a couple from Havant planning round-the-world trips – and celebrating the fact they can finally buy their dream home.
Patrick and Paula Morling from Leigh Park won £1m on a National Lottery Scratchcard bought from Asda Havant Supercentre – thanks to their Springer Staffy-cross Ollie, eight.
Now they can pay for their daughter’s wedding and give their other daughter a deposit for a house, which Patrick said has left him feeling amazing.
Patrick, 60, said: ‘We did our food shop earlier in the day but we couldn’t get the tinned food Ollie likes, so I went to Asda to get it.
‘After I’d been through the checkout I looked outside and it was chucking it down. I thought, “I’m not going outside just yet”, so I queued up to buy a scratchcard.’
Patrick often buys £2 scratchcards but last Saturday, treated himself to a £5 Monopoly Classic. He played straight away, matching a number on the first game, and seeing the £1m figure.
The 60-year-old, who works at a paper cup company in Gosport, added: ‘I asked the lady behind the counter if I’d won £1m and she said: “Yes you have and I don’t know what to do!”
‘I replied – “neither do I, I’ve never won £1m before”.
‘She made checks and confirmed I’d won. The lady behind me hugged and congratulated me and that’s when I started to feel funny.
‘When I got back to the car I checked the scratchcard to make sure the ink wasn’t running because of the weather.’
Patrick showed wife Paula the scratchcard and at first she didn’t know what she was looking at.
Paula, 54 and who works as a Havant school’s lunchtime supervisor, said: ‘When I realised I gasped and said, “you’re joking, are you sure? Have you checked it?
‘We want to share our story because things like this don’t happen every day.
‘Patrick keeps telling me to pinch him!’
‘Ollie rules the roost and he’ll continue to do so. He’ll be getting lots of treats.’
The couple’s youngest daughter, her partner and children and were sat down, before Patrick asked if he could pay for their wedding.
‘I showed them the scratchcard and told them everything had been verified and my daughter just kept saying “oh my god” and her partner just had his head in his hands,’ Patrick said.
‘I asked my oldest daughter and her husband if they thought £20,000 would be enough for a deposit for a house, they were both asking why and how, and then when we told them they couldn’t believe it either.
‘Knowing I can help them both out makes me feel like a proper dad.
‘We’ve always lived one month to the next, paid the bills first, and used whatever is left to fritter.
‘Ollie has always been a special dog ever since we got him at four months old when he was seriously overweight, he’s not a pet, he’s part of our family.’
The pair wanted to go to New Zealand for their 30th wedding anniversary in August but didn’t – so are planning to go for their 31st instead. They would like to visit Canada where Paula has relatives she’s never met.
They plan to buy a house, the first and last one they will purchase.
They’re not rushing into anything or making any impulsive purchases, although Patrick says he has hit heart set on a band-new BMW Mini.
Patrick grew up in Portsmouth and Paula has lived in Leigh Park her whole life. The pair married at the John Pounds Church.