UK

Man who won £1m on lottery phone game may buy steam train with winnings

Neil Leighton celebrates his £1 million National Lottery win at the Talyllyn Railway, Gwynedd (National Lottery/PA)
Neil Leighton celebrates his £1 million National Lottery win at the Talyllyn Railway, Gwynedd (National Lottery/PA) Neil Leighton celebrates his £1 million National Lottery win at the Talyllyn Railway, Gwynedd (National Lottery/PA)

A man who won £1 million on the National Lottery “by accident” says he plans to buy a steam train with his life-changing winnings.

Part-time assistant general manager Neil Leighton, from Hereford, thought he might have been scammed when he was “aimlessly” playing the Cash Bolt Christmas Millionaire game on his phone and received a message when he completed all his spins saying: “Congratulations you’ve won £1M.”

Mr Leighton, who was on an evening call with friends from the UK and the US at the time, said he told them he had won £1 million – and promptly left the chat.

The 24-year-old tried to call the National Lottery to confirm his win but with the phone lines not open at that time of night, decided to hop back onto his earlier call, announcing to his friends: “I think I have won on The National Lottery by accident.”

The part-time general manager is planning to spend cash on trains, travel and his family. (National Lottery/PA) (Aled Llywelyn/Aled Llywelyn )

He said: “They were so happy for me, although there was plenty of joking that only I could have won £1 million by accident.

“We stayed up into the early hours discussing the crazy turn of events and having a little browse on the internet looking at houses and holidays I could now afford.”

He decided to tell his family the news the next day after confirming he had definitely won the prize with lottery officials.

He said: “I walked into the house and my mum and dad both jokingly said I looked far too happy, what had I been buying?

“When I told them I’d bought something, a National Lottery instant win game, and I’d won £1 million, mum screamed, used some colourful language and then was convinced it was a scam.”

The new millionaire said he is not rushing into spending his winnings, but as a fan of trains he may consider buying his own steam train one day.

The new millionaire admitted he thought it may have been a scam when he found out what he had won (National Lottery/PA) (Aled Llywelyn/Aled Llywelyn )

He said: “Ever since my grandad took me to see my first steam train when I was three, I have been fascinated.

“It started with Thomas the Tank Engine and, to be honest, I never grew out of it.

“Now, if I’m not visiting a railway, I’m busy writing and filming my own take on Thomas the Tank Engine storylines which I share online, or collaborating with Thomas fans around the world on future projects.

“So, top of the list is buying my own home, where I can have a train room, an entire space dedicated to trains, and another room for filming and editing my Thomas content.

“Maybe, one day, if I’m wise with this win, I’ll swap the train room for my very own steam train.”

He is not planning to give up his job but wants to travel, take driving lessons and treat his family.