A couple scooped a £1.2million scratchcard jackpot after running out of cooking oil for their roast potatoes.
Craig Harrison, 60, was preparing a roast dinner for partner Debbie Piper, 58, and their family when he realised he was out of the vital cooking ingredient.
Debbie told him to go out and buy a bottle from a nearby Co-op store instead of their corner shop so he could drop off clothes at a laundrette on the way.
Craig spent £10 on two 12 Pays of Christmas Scratchcards when he was at the till buying the £3.25 bottle of oil at the Co-op in Pinewood Avenue, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
He returned home to carry on with his cooking and used a spoon to scratch the two cards and find out if he had won a prize.
The first National Lottery card won nothing, but the second won him the top prize, giving him £100,000 a month for a year.
Craig said: “I can’t help thinking, if it weren’t for cooking oil and that bag of dirty laundry, I wouldn’t have been in the right place at the right time and we wouldn’t now be banking £100,000 a month for a year.
“It’s just opened doors for us and our family which is amazing. I still can’t believe it.”
Craig bought his winning card on Monday last week when he and Debbie were on a day off from their job as managers at the Jolly Sailors pub in Pakefield, Suffolk.
Debbie said she was busy browsing the web for Christmas presents when Craig appeared in the lounge with his Scratchcard and told her: “I think we’ve won something serious.”
She said: “Craig is always pretty lucky with little wins here and there so I assumed his something ‘serious’ would be a tenner but when I saw the look on his face, I knew he’d been very lucky and my Christmas shopping was quickly forgotten.
“We called Camelot who confirmed the win and then rang both our daughters and told them to come over as soon as they could.
“Once everyone was there Craig said, ‘We’ve won £100,000’ which resulted in shouts of joy, and when he added ‘every month for a year’ the roof nearly erupted.”
The couple, who have two daughters, a granddaughter and another grandchild on the way said their first priority would be spending Christmas Day at home rather than catering for customers in their pub.
Craig said: “We’ve been in the pub trade pretty much all our working lives so we’re used to helping the people of Lowestoft celebrate Christmas,
reserving our family celebrations for another day but not this year.
“It’ll be strange to wake up on Christmas Day and instead of rushing about opening up for our regulars so they celebrate the big day. We’ll be thinking about a relaxed Christmas lunch for seven.”
He added: “Family comes first with us so making sure our daughters and their families are secure is the priority.
“As for us, we’re currently renting a cottage in a beautiful location so we’re not in any hurry to move.
“However, Debbie loves gardening and I think in time we will look for a place of our own where Debbie can create her dream garden.
“And while a roof over our heads is high on the list, we all love our home town and the beach so we’re going to add one more roof to the list and buy a beach hut on Pakefield Beach for the whole family to enjoy together.”
Craig said he had no plans to stop pulling pints just yet, although he is looking forward to working less hours.
But Debbie, who has been his partner for 35 years, is planning to give up work and become a full-time grandmother to help out her two daughters with their new babies.
She said: “I’m still in shock. This will open doors that we couldn’t have dreamt of. Not only helping our family, which is obviously the best bit,
but also enjoying carefree moments.
“Craig watches a TV show about The Savoy and we joked we’d save up to go for a meal one day, now we can go for a meal, and stay the night.
“And the ladies watch I have always dreamt of owning, a very pretty Rolex, may eventually make its way from the jewellers’ window onto my wrist!”