Builder drove around for six weeks unaware £76m EuroMillions winning ticket was inside his van

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Damon Green

A builder nearly missed out on the £76 million EuroMillions jackpot after he drove around for six weeks unaware the winning ticket was tucked into the visor of his white van.

Andrew Clark from Boston, Lincolnshire was finally persuaded to check his stash of lottery tickets in his Peugeot Expert by his partner Trish Fairhurst and her niece.

He made a claim for the prize – the 12th biggest win ever in the UK – last week, Camelot said.

Mr Clark and his partner Trisha Fairhurst have already bought two new cars. Credit: PA

At a press conference in Grantham on Friday morning, Mr Clark, 51, described himself as “the man who nearly lost £76 million” and said he realised he was the mystery winner after he “finally gave in” and began working his way through his stash of tickets one evening.

Self-employed Mr Clark, 51, said he was now taking early retirement and revealed him and his partner had already bought a new home and two cars.

But the grandfather-of-three said the best thing about scooping jackpot was "how we can help all our family”.

Mr Clark said: “Trisha kept telling me to check the tickets, and her niece Louise, who I was building an extension for, was also in on it once she’d heard about the unclaimed prize in the news.

“It was something of a standing joke that I had all these tickets while there was a local prize outstanding, so for weeks they were on at me to check.”

Mr Clark said: “It almost feels like some magical Christmas story, the man who nearly lost £76 million! For all our family, I’m very pleased that Trisha and Louise nagged me to check those tickets!

“This Christmas is going to be a quiet affair, but next year will be a different story. Trisha and I have this vision of hiring a big lodge or hotel so that the whole family can get together and swap stories about how they’ve spent their share over the past 12 months.

“This win isn’t just about Christmas magic, it’s about creating a lifetime of magical moments for all those around us.”

Mr Clark said he has never like working in the winter and is now looking forward to planning holidays to destinations like Mauritius, the Maldives and Hawaii.

But Ms Fairhurst said she has no immediate plans to give up her job as a catering assistant at Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

Andrew Clark, 51, from Boston, Lincolnshire has won the £76 million jackpot. Credit: PA

She said the win will make a huge difference to her 14-year-old daughter who has special needs and will need help to live independently when she is older.

"This will set her up for life," she said. "I can pay for private care for her and residential care when she gets a bit older."

Mr Clark has two sons in their thirties and three granddaughters, aged two, six and nine: "They will all be looked after - well looked after. They'll not want for anything."

He said he will continue to play the lottery - and still plans to only check his tickets every three months.