An unlucky amateur golfer in Devon whose dreams were dashed when his prize-winning tee shot bounced out of the hole has won the Lottery.
Shaun Sanders was dubbed the unluckiest man in Braunton after he narrowly missed out on winning a new Mini Cooper car at a Sports Foundation golf day at Saunton Golf Club. Joy turned to agony as his drive rolled into the hole on the 17th green then bounced straight out again, costing him the chance to win the £18,000 car which was up for grabs.
Fortunately, the reverse failed to dim the 31-year-old's natural optimism and he later stopped to pick up a scratchcard from the Oasis service station on Exeter Road, in Broughton. And when he rubbed away the covering on the National Lottery scratchcard he was shocked to find he had won the £100,000 first prize.
Shaun, who is assistant hotel manager at Saunton Sands Hotel, said: "Laura and I were in complete shock when we realised we had won the prize – we still are to be honest – we can't quite believe this has happened to us. We were the talk of the town after the disappointment of 'the shot that wasn't' but we don't care about that at all now. I took a picture of the winning scratchcard on my phone and I can't stop looking at it."
Shaun and Laura met and fell in love while working at the hotel, where Laura is bar manager. The couple, who also married at the hotel, are now planning to use some of their winnings to buy a new home in the area, with a garden.
Laura said the win "could not have come at a better time for us".
"We are currently living in a flat but we would really like to move to a new house where we can entertain our family and friends," she added. "We would also like to use the money for a holiday and, with Christmas coming up, it will be lovely to treat our loved ones with some gifts."
The couple are also in a syndicate with work colleagues at the Saunton Sands Hotel, but this is the first time they have won a significant amount on the National Lottery.
Shaun added: "We have won the odd tenner in the past with the syndicate, but this is our first big win on a Scratchcard – we are definitely planning to go out for drinks with some friends and have a bit of a party."