He could have jumped straight to the fast car and the big house.
But £1.6 Million lottery winner Neil Baker’s first thought was to finally take the trip to honour the grave of his great-grandfather who died in service during the Great War.
It had been his and his mother Margaret’s dream for over 7 years, to visit the war grave in Belgium of Private Sydney Carver – Margaret’s grandfather.
Wearing the war medals earned by his great-grandfather, Neil stood before the grave in Tournai, Belgium and played the Last Post on his bugle. His mother looked on proudly, as Neil then stepped forward to place a wreath of poppies on the grave.
It wasn’t an extravagant or luxurious trip. But winning the lottery has allowed Neil and his mother the time to achieve some of those simpler things life had yet to permit them. Sadly Neil’s father would have loved to have been at the graveside too, but passed away before he was able to.
Neil and his mother used to spend £5 a week on the lottery. They picked the usual selection of lucky numbers, using family birthdays etc. But it was their 5th set of numbers – the lucky dip – that hit the jackpot.
In an instant Neil went from a head chef working 70 hour weeks to a millionaire who need never work again.
But like a lot of lottery winners determined to keep their feet on the ground, Neil has resisted the glamour he could have should he choose. He still lives in the family home caring for wheelchair bound Margaret.
And whilst he does drive a Jaguar – it’s a 9 year old X-Type, which he is more than happy to keep.
He is appreciating the luxuryof having a sizeable sum of money in the bank however, and the ‘private bank manager’ that goes with it:
Suddenly, instead of ringing and being held in a queue for three hours or having to go to see them, you ring up and they come round to see you! I can’t get my head round it.