Lothian couple celebrate £4m lottery win
David and Donna Hendry, from Livingston, bagged a massive £4,078,509 in the Lotto triple rollover draw on Thursday morning, and now plan to splash out on a pilgrimage to Graceland to pay tribute to their rock ‘n’ roll hero.
But the down-to-earth couple spent their first few hours as millionaires foregoing a champagne celebration to take Donna’s four-year-old Vauxhall Astra for its MOT – before having a McDonald’s breakfast.
David, who works as a sales engineer with cooling company Fenn Tool Limited, admitted the shock win had sparked a “whirlwind” of emotions, but insisted the family weren’t about to fritter their wealth away – ruling out splurging his new-found cash on an Elvis-style Cadillac.
The 45-year-old said: “I woke up on Thursday morning after the draw and checked the winning numbers on my mobile phone as usual, to see whether I’d won anything. I knew immediately I had won the jackpot as I knew the numbers off by heart.
“I told Donna first who obviously didn’t believe me until I showed her our ticket. We then told our 12-year-old son who was flabbergasted, especially when we went on to the website and he saw the full amount we had won.
“It is his birthday next week, so I think he’s already thought of a lot of extra presents he would like.”
He added: “I tried not to say too much to anyone at the garage as I was still in shock and I didn’t want to blurt it out – we’ve still only told a few people so far, until now.
“It’s life-changing – it’s too early to say by how much, but it’s all for the better. There was a bit of panic – a couple of sweary words in there. Anybody that knows me knows I like to swear, being from an engineering background. But you just think somebody is going to call and say it’s a void draw.”
And wife Donna, a commercial executive with Johnson and Johnson, revealed she initially feared her husband was having a panic attack when he clocked the winning numbers on his mobile at 6.30am on Thursday.
The 44-year-old said: “It was just the motions that he was making. It didn’t sink in.”
The couple said it was “too early” to detail how they were going to spend the money but insisted it would be used wisely in order to see them and son Lewis sorted “forever” – admitting a new house to replace their modest two-bed would almost certainly be in the pipeline.
Elvis nut David – who once dressed and performed as the King at a friend’s wedding in Las Vegas – joked: “We’ll need something detached so people can’t hear my singing.”
And a trip to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Memphis mansion and final resting place in Graceland will also be on the cards.
“We’re going to go to Graceland, amongst other travels. It’s been an unrealistic dream – it’s something I thought I would never, ever see,” he said.
“I watched the Elvis films with my mother when I was probably six or seven years old.
“Years ago I used to do karaoke as Elvis. People from the Edinburgh area will probably remember me from 15 years or so ago – hopefully they think I was OK.
“But we’ve not made any decisions – it’s too early and it’s a lot to take in. We’ve got a young family and a long time ahead so we have to look after everything.
“It takes thought first and being a bit sensible – but we’ll be buying stuff.
“It’s not spend, spend, spend – it’s a gradual process. It’s got to look after us forever. It’s just a bit of a whirlwind.
“We’ve been doing the same numbers since the day the lottery started, for 21 years.”
But the pair confirmed they would be using some of the funds to jet off to a cousin’s wedding in Canada this summer, revealing they had jokingly told family before Christmas they wouldn’t be able to make the trip unless they won the lottery.
David said: “We actually said before Christmas that we’re going to have to reply to say ‘unless we win the lottery we can’t go’.
“The family will be going to that now.
“I have family in Australia as well that I thought I’d probably never ever see again.”
And despite the car passing its MOT, a new family motor will also be on the horizon, along with a “shopping spree” for Donna. The winning ticket – with numbers made up of family birthdays – was bought from Mid Calder Post Office three weeks earlier and marks the second time the shop has doled out a hefty payout in recent years.
Owner Mohammad Majid, who has run the branch for the past eight years, insisted his shop was a lucky charm.
He said “It’s fantastic – four million pounds. It’s brilliant. I’ve known David and Donna for a few years now and they are very nice people.
“We had a guy who won £85,000 from a lottery ticket bought at the shop two years ago. I knew that the shop was lucky, I knew it – I keep saying that to people. I’m glad somebody has won here – I had a feeling somebody would.”
David and Donna’s wining numbers were 4, 5, 10, 12, 20, 23, and the bonus ball was 24.
The couple – who have been married for 17 years – join more than 200 Scots who have won the lottery jackpot since it launched in 1994.
Past big winners include Edinburgh teen Jane Park – who bagged £1m in 2013 – and Largs couple Colin and Chris Weir, who became Europe’s biggest lottery winners after they collected £161,653,000 with a EuroMillions ticket in July 2011.
As well as doling out life-changing individual jackpots, the National Lottery funds a variety of community projects across the UK – with 926 lottery grants across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors in West Lothian alone.
In David and Donna’s own back yard in Livingston, lottery funding has helped Livingston Youth Foundation Limited and Livingston Village Play Group.