An evening like no other
It was just a normal Thursday evening for Gary. At home after a long day at work painting the front of a local solicitors office, all he wanted to do was shower, eat and sleep. But his evening was about to take an unexpected turn, with a knock at the door and a delightful surprise that changed his life.
“I was expecting a neighbour to call round at about 7pm that evening about a quote for a painting job, but the doorbell rang about an hour earlier than I expected, and my sister shouted that it was for me. I went downstairs, thinking my neighbour had popped over early, but instead I was greeted at the front door by a smartly dressed woman.”
“My first thought was that she was a Chief Inspector! I racked my brain and hoped I hadn’t bashed my van into a car earlier on in the day!” Gary said.
To Gary’s relief, he hadn’t had a brush with the law. Instead he was face to face with NS&I’s very own Agent Million, who had some fantastic news for him.
“She said that she wanted a word in private but assured me that I had nothing to worry about. It turns out, I didn’t!”
“My first reaction to being told that I had won ￡1 million was relief, mainly that I hadn’t hit someone’s car! But once the news sank in, although I was too young to retire off it, I realised that if I remained sensible, I could be comfortable for the rest of my life.”
Gary, is a 34 year old self-employed decorator, a job he‘s been doing since he left school. He’s worked 7 days a week for most of his career and has always been sensible with money - regularly putting some away in his private pension, which he opened when he was 18 years old.
And whilst many big Lottery and Premium Bond jackpot winners speak about sleepless nights thinking about what to do with their windfall, Gary already had his plan in mind.
“I didn’t sleep much that night, but I had definitely decided that I was going to continue working as normal – perhaps taking the odd day off now and then. It was a comforting feeling more than anything else, that feeling that I could pretty much carry on as normal, but without having to worry as much.
“After all I can earn more with my paint brush than I can in the banks!”
Some kind of normality
Gary wanted his win “to work for him” and enlisted the help of Matrix Capital, the financial advisers contracted to offer advice to Premium Bond jackpot winners.
However, that’s not to say that he hasn’t allowed himself the odd extravagance. He still loves going on holidays with his mates and continues going to his beloved Arsenal Football Club on a weekly basis, but he has always seen his win as setting him up for the rest of his life.
Gary won his prize in July 2015, but a year after the win, he has managed to acquire one particular valuable asset with his success. “I’ve upgraded my living arrangements and have bought my first property. Before my win, I thought I would be renting forever but now I don’t even have to worry about any mortgage payments. I have something to call my own and am able to give my mum a bit more space!”
*Gary’s name has been changed to protect his identity.