Local trucker scoops lottery million


20-10-1999

Lucky trucker Derek Curtis jacked his job in just hours after scooping a jackpot of more than million and a half on the Lottery.

Despite thinking the world of his boss, Derek didn't dither when it came sorting his life out as Britain's newest millionaire.



'I checked the numbers and phoned my guvnor straight away. He was absolutely ecstatic for me - he's a good bloke and a good guvnor ... but I'm still pleased I left,' said jubilant Derek, 59, who lives in Cambridge.



After 40 years working on the roads, packing up his job was an easy choice for Derek - but he's says it's the only snap decision he's going to make ... apart from buying a new car.



He's already invested a small portion of his 1,650,050 win on his dream motor - a Jaguar Sovereign.



'It cost a few quid more than I wanted to pay, but it's a drop in the ocean now isn't it?' he said at a champagne reception to announce his win.



'That's got to be one of the nicest things about winning - you dream about these things, but to actually go into a showroom and say 'yeah mate I'll have that one' is something else.'



Now Derek's determined to let his good fortune sink in before he makes any more dramatic changes to his life.



'You have to be sensible. One minute you've got nothing and then all of sudden it's bang, crash you're a millionaire, and you can't get your head around it, well I can't.



'I expect I'll come down to earth soon and then we'll decide what to do.'



Derek's win came by chance after he left his regular numbers at home and filled in a ticket completely at random.



'I normally get seven tickets a week, but I don't do it religiously every week and this time I nearly didn't.



'It was just a case of pot luck. I went to the shop, thought 'oh no I've left my numbers at home' and just chose at random - there were people behind me waiting for the pen and that so I just got on with it.



'I wasn't going to bother checking my numbers on Sunday morning because I wanted to go out, but my wife Sheila made me check them before I went.



'At first I thought I had just matched three numbers, then I realised I had all six. I went mental, I couldn't believe it. I shouted to Sheila 'I've won the Lottery' and she just burst into tears.



'I have to admit I was pretty tearful as well.'



Until now Derek has only ever won a few tenners on the Lottery, but he's always dreamt of what he would do with a big win.



'Every week I thought about, I think everyone thinks of what they'd do if they won.



'Obviously I want to look after my family, subject to my wife's approval of course, and after that we'll have to settle down a bit.



'And I've got my motor.'



Derek and Sheila, 49, who have two children and three grandchildren, also plan to buy a new house. Their modest home in Cambridge was already on the market before his numbers came up, and they may head back to their roots in London.



'I've lived in Cambridge for nine years, and I've been driving for Plumbing Trade Supplies for the last seven years, for my guvnor Peter Beaumont.



'We used to joke about me handing in my notice when I won the Lottery, I just can't believe that now I really have,' said Derek.



The lifelong Arsenal fan is also considering forking out for a box at his team's Highbury ground.



'I may enquire about a box depending on where we move to, and if they make it to the final in Europe I'll take the guvnor to watch because he's a fan too and he's been great to me.'



Meanwhile, Derek has every intention of carrying on with the Lottery.



'I'll keep buying tickets ... you never know, my numbers might come up again,' he said.