National Lottery winners from Boughton ditch Bali for Great Yarmouth
A £1m lottery-winning couple have ditched Bali for Great Yarmouth and Australia for the Lake District as they plan to enjoy their winnings in England — at least for now.
Andrew and Paula Hancock scooped £1m on a scratchcard 12 months ago after an unplanned trip to the petrol station, having forgotten to buy food for their pet cat Shortcake.
Andrew, 47, of Boughton, travelled to his nearest petrol station to pick up the food for the then six-year-old ginger tom, only to come home with a jackpot-winning Monopoly Millionaire scratchcard.
One year on, they are yet to take their dream vacation because of the coronavirus lockdown.
However, the pandemic hasn’t stopping them from celebrating.
The married couple, who have a 13-year-old son, Xavier, have bought a camper van ahead of their tour around the country’s beauty spots.
“We were feeling a little bit down but at the same time we wanted to make the most of it,” said Paula, 44.
“We carried on working until December and then we sold our catering business.
“We were getting it ready to sell, and we sold it on December 23.
“In most ways, not a lot actually changed for us after winning.
“The only thing that changed was things like getting the mortgage paid and paying off the car, which was brilliant to do, but in terms of day-to-day things not a lot was different for us because we were still working.”
They had dubbed 2020 their late gap year and booked tickets to the Tokyo Olympics judo finals for Xavier, as well as dream holidays to Australia, Bali, Barcelona and Cyprus.
“We decided to give ourselves a year off and go away during each school holiday,” said Paula.
“Well, that was our plan.
“We went to Tenerife in February and we had a great holiday.
“When we got back we started to focus on getting fit because part of ourholiday in the summer was a two-week trek through the Kimberley in Australia.
“Andrew told me we had to be fit. He told me we would need to learn how to spider walk, so we joined a gym, we went on long walks, enjoyed playing badminton and things like that, but then this happened.
“And now the diet and fitness has gone out the window.”
Having put the holidays on hold because of coronavirus, Paula said it feels like the lottery win is starting to sink in with their UK trip just around the corner.
“We decided on a staycation to explore England over the summer in the campervan,” said Andrew.
“When we bought it it was white, but we have added a few things and blinged it up a bit.”
They plan to travel to Harrogate with friends as part of their first adventure in the van, before setting off to Coniston Water in the Lake District.
They also plan to visit to Great Yarmouth.
“It is a bit different to Bali, but that will come next year,” said Andrew.