£4.3m Lotto Winner Needed To Sit In Dark Room After Learning Of Windfall

3 February 2017, 13:31 | Updated: 3 February 2017, 15:22


A ferry worker who won £4.3 million on the Lottery spurned a champagne celebration and instead went home to sit in a dark room with a cup of tea.

James Couper, a 46-year-old grandfather from Greenock, Inverclyde, is still in shock and trying to come to terms with the money he won with a lucky dip Lotto ticket last weekend.

He found out he had matched six numbers while at work on Sunday.

He said: ''We were just casually sitting chatting on our lunch break when my workmate came across the Lotto results in the newspaper.

''I got my ticket out as he read them aloud and was so confused that they were all my numbers.

''I thought that he'd gotten a hold of my ticket somehow and knew my numbers, meaning it was all a joke, so I grabbed the newspaper to check it for myself.

''When I saw them there in black and white and as clear as day, I just couldn't get my head around it. I was so confused and in utter disbelief.

''I was so stunned that I just went home and sat in a dark room with a cup of tea.

''I just sat there shaking. I think more tea ended up on the floor than in my mouth.''

Mr Couper told his daughter Rachel about the win and said he looked after the ticket ''like it was a newborn'' until all the details were confirmed.

He celebrated the £4,369,877 win - which was half the weekend jackpot as another player also matched the numbers - with his daughter at the Mar Hall hotel near Glasgow on Friday.

He said he will take time to decide how to spend the money, but is looking for a new house and a motorbike.

He has also promised a family trip to Disney World.

He said: ''I protected that ticket with my life. I hid it away in my son's old toy box at the back of a cupboard.

''I'd be sitting in the house and I'd just have to check it was still there - numerous times a day.

''I couldn't help myself; I was not going to get this far just to lose my winning ticket.''

Mr Couper said he is not sure if he will retire from his ferry port job at nearby Wemyss Bay with Caledonian MacBrayne.

He said: ''I'm talking to the work just now. I've got time off to get my head round it.

''I've not made any decision on it at all. I've been there too long.''

Despite working with ferries for 12 years he has no plans to buy a boat of his own.

''No way,'' he said. ''I'm not a very sea-going person.''

His only plan so far is the Disney trip, with the dates in the hands of his daughter and her two children.

Rachel said: ''It was also Disneyland Paris we wanted but we can go to Florida now.''

Mr Couper laughed when asked if he could buy Greenock football club Morton, and said: ''Aye... Morton Rolls.

''No, I'm not really into football.

''I don't really have any hobbies but I'll be buying a motorbike, that's what I like doing.

''It will be something cheap, I've not passed my test yet so it will be something tiny, no Harley-Davidsons yet.''