€50,000 lottery winner receives cheque in Malta
A lucky British man was all smiles yesterday after being whisked away to Malta to be presented with €50,000 by UK celebrity Carol Smillie.
Richard Butler received the cheque from The Player’s Lottery, a new online lottery company based in Malta, after winning its free introductory prize draw.
“The most I’ve ever won is a bottle of gin in a tombola and £10 on the National Lottery, so this is a big surprise,” said the 50-year-old Londoner.
Mr Butler only entered the draw on whim after clicking on an e-mail and he admitted he thought he was being scammed when he received a phone call a week ago saying he had won.
“I couldn’t even remember entering initially. Then the phone went dead because I entered a tunnel,” he laughed.
Fortunately, a representative of The Player’s Lottery called back, by which time Mr Butler had recalled entering the draw.
“I don’t normally enter anything like this but the website looked professional and I was not asked for bank details, so I thought I had nothing to lose,” Mr Butler said.
He plans to spend the bulk of his winnings on a house in Thailand, which he will move into full-time when he eventually retires. The freelance marketer was flown to Malta on Wednesday night and put up in a five-star hotel.
He was last here over 30 years ago during a schoolboy “educational cruise” on the SS Uganda and he planned to sample the nightlife yesterday before flying home this morning.
The Player’s Lottery, the brainchild of two Canadians living in Malta, hopes to eventually rival Euromillions.
It “guarantees” €10 million jackpots plus thousands of other prizes every draw and accepts customers from all over the world.
There are 300,000 possible entries; once they are all sold, the winner is randomly determined.
The company plans to fly future jackpot winners to Malta to present them with their prizes, something brand ambassador Carol Smillie is looking forward to.
“I had to scrape ice off my car in Glasgow yesterday, so I can’t wait to come back here,” said the TV star and former UK National Lottery host.