Plumber Sean Irwin, 36, has won £300,000 on a Lottery scratchcard (National Lottery/PA)
A plumber who scooped £300,000 on a Lottery scratchcard is to swap his wrench for a laptop by retraining as a videographer.
Sean Irwin, of Brentwood in Essex said he wants to make the most of every opportunity after losing his father to cancer this year.
The 36-year-old bought his winning scratchcard from a newsagent in Brentwood where he went to buy bottles of water for himself and a workmate.
He was left with exactly £3 in change so decided to buy a National Lottery Ruby Doubler Scratchcard.
The scratchcards cost £3 and prizes range from £3 up to the top prize of £300,000.
Mr Irwin said he started to play the scratchcard in his car before returning to the site where he was working.
“I had only played half of it when I saw that I had matched two number 22s and revealed the prize symbol for £300,000,” he explained.
“I thought I was seeing things, and checked, then triple-checked, I even read the rules on the back of the scratchcard.”
Not trusting himself, he drove steadily back to the site and called his boss over to sit in the passenger seat and look at the scratchcard.
His boss agreed it looked like a winner and said Mr Irwin should call Camelot
“It was a classic moment, there’s me and the boss sitting in my little Ford Focus calling Camelot to confirm I’d won £300,000,” he said.
“After all the checks the lady at Camelot started singing ‘Congratulations’ and we both started to cheer, it was flipping brilliant.
“It’s been a really tough couple of years, culminating in my dad losing his battle with cancer this summer, and if I’ve learnt anything from that it is to make the most of every opportunity.
“This win has opened up so many doors and will give me the security to explore a whole new career, so I’m going to do exactly that.”
He went on: “The money will give me a bit of freedom to move away from plumbing, so I don’t have to rely on the plumbing money coming in.
“I can actually study videography and video editing, get to grips with that, get the right set-up, the right equipment and see where I can go with that.”
He said he will also ensure his mother is okay.
“I moved back in with mum and dad a couple of years ago and have stayed ever since,” he said.
“The first thing I’m going to do is pay off dad’s funeral costs and buy a really lovely headstone too so that mum doesn’t have that worry looming over her.
“She’s been my biggest supporter so it’s the best feeling to be able to now support her a bit.
“I’m also looking to buy a flat, either to live in or as an investment, and then when it’s safe to do so again I am off travelling.
“I spent time in Australia and South East Asia so may head back that way, or perhaps I will explore South America instead.
“It’s an amazing feeling to know that if I am careful with this money, then the travels I want to do, the career I want to have and the security I need for the long term can all be achieved, and all thanks to £3 loose change.”