A PLUMBER who has won £3.5m on the lottery wore – and slept in – in the same pair of trousers for five days to keep his winning ticket safe.
Paul Goldie won the life-changing sum in the Christmas Day draw and was so worried he would lose the ticket that he kept it in his wallet and refused to take off his trousers for five days.
He and wife Christine, who live in Washington, Tyne and Wear, shared the £7.16m jackpot with one other winner after matching six numbers.
Yesterday the 51-year-old fought back tears as he told how the windfall would change his family’s life after years of financial struggle.
Paul, who has worked as a plumber since he left school at 16, found himself out of work for 18 months when the company he worked for went bust in 2007. He has been back in work for the past two years but money has been so tight that his 16-year-old Volvo car has sat idle on his driveway as he can’t afford to run it.
He now plans to take time off work and has already snapped up two brand new cars.
He said: “When I checked the winning numbers on Christmas Day night I couldn’t believe it. Christine was in the shower and I shouted for her to come and check the numbers.
“It’s a dream come true. I didn’t want to let the ticket out of my sight so I put it in my wallet and kept it in my pocket the whole time.
“I was so paranoid about losing the ticket that I didn’t even take my trousers off for five days and even wore them to bed.”
Paul and Christine, 48, were due to have their Christmas dinner on Boxing Day as she had been at work on Christmas Day..
They told Christine’s daughters Lisa, 28, and Emma, 24, but didn’t want to excite their four grandchildren any more so kept the win a secret during Boxing Day.
Paul said: “I cooked Christmas dinner but I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even eat it. The grandchildren were excited enough so we didn’t tell them at first.”
As well as splashing out on a brand new Audi Q7 and Audi A3, the couple, who have been married for six years, plan to go on a cruise and will be moving from their bungalow to a bigger home in the Washington area.
Grandchildren Kieron, eight, Jake, five, Callum, two, and Ellie, 18 months, have also been putting in requests with Callum asking Paul for a farm.
He said: “Callum has asked for a farm because he loves tractors and diggers but I don’t think I will be buying a farm just yet. After many tough years we are really going to enjoy this.”
Paul said he still hadn’t told his boss he had won the jackpot and yesterday morning had crashed his works van into a bollard. He said: “I was using the works van because the car was off the road. I had so much on my mind that I reversed into a bollard and dinted the door.”
Immediately after the win Christine quit her carer job of 12 years at Fell House Nursing Home in Springwell Village, Gateshead. She said: “It is still sinking in that we have won.”
The winning numbers were 13, 15, 22, 25, 33 and 34 and the couple won £3,581,481. Paul has been using the same numbers for more than a decade.
Paul and Christine are now looking at buying a new home, though they are determined to stay close to where they currently live.