“I was casually carrying £250,000 in a carrier bag. What if my meat pie had exploded?” Pub relief manager who went out to buy lemons came back with windfall

A pub relief manager and his regulars let out a colossal cheer when his scratch card was confirmed as a £250,000 winner – and he had only popped out to pick up some lemons.

John Reid, 61, was working at the Railway Tavern in Bexley when he bought the scratch card and whooped so loud it brought a barmaid running.

He said: “I’ve been in the pub game for more than 20 years so I’ve heard many tales about life’s highs and lows, and among them I’ve heard of people who had won a few quid on The National Lottery.

“Maybe it was those stories, or just dreaming, but I always believed I was going to have a good win on it. Now I’ll be the talk of the pub for a bit.”

He said: “After lunchtime I hopped to the supermarket to pick up fresh lemons and a steak pie for my supper.

“I also treated myself to a couple of National Lottery Triple Jackpot scratch cards and stuffed them into the bottom of the carrier bag with my pie.

“I was casually carrying £250,000 in a carrier bag. What if my meat pie had exploded?

“I went into the flat above the pub for a sit down and played one of the scratch cards, but nothing.

“Then, a bit absent-mindedly, I played the second one, revealing £250. It was only a little later when I put my glasses on to watch the news and I realised there was a K next to the £250.”

John gave a very loud ‘woo hoo’, followed by a hefty shout usually reserved for last orders, both of which bought the barmaid Karen running to the bottom of the stairs to check he was alright.

John said: “I asked Karen to check it then went to the convenience store next door to check it on the terminal. When the shopkeeper told me I needed to call Camelot it started to feel real.

“I made the call in the pub and sat with a few of the regulars, in a socially-distanced way, of course, as I waited for the call back from Camelot.

“That was a tense moment. Then the whole pub let out one hell of a cheer. What a moment!”

But John has no intention of calling time on his career.

He said: “I haven’t really made any firm plans yet, but I’m definitely going to carry on working.

“It’s certainly a tricky time to be running pubs, but I’ve been here for the good times and I’m going to carry on in the trickier times, too.

“Besides, I’d be bored without the banter and I’m sure the regulars will all have plenty of advice about what I should do with the money.

“In the short-term, I may buy myself a new car, perhaps a Jeep, and longer term look at buying a property, but for now, I’ll just bank the money.”

John’s winning Triple Jackpot scratch card from The National Lottery was bought at Asda in Graham Road, Bexleyheath.

Players can check their tickets online here or via the National Lottery app.

Pictured top: John Reid – and his lucky lemons


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