Greenock ferry worker sails away with £4.3M Lotto win

James Couper (46) was relaxing during his lunch break at work on Sunday when his co-worker read out the winning Lotto numbers from the previous night’s draw and he realised he had matched every single one.

James explains: “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 immediately phoned Camelot to check and they confirmed that I had a winning ticket - at that point it all began to feel very real. I was so stunned that I had to go home and actually ended up sitting in a dark room for a few hours, just letting it all sink in.

“I’ve dreamt of this moment so many times but when it actually happened, it was a total shock. I kept checking the numbers over and over again as I thought there must be a mistake – the information just wasn’t going in!”

The first person to be told the amazing news was James’ 20 year old daughter, Rachel, who didn’t actually believe him until later that night.

He continued: “I used to play the lottery regularly using set numbers but then somewhere along the line I stopped and just started playing now and again with Lucky Dips. Boy, am I glad that I decided to pick up that Lucky Dip now!

“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.”

While James wants to wait a while before he decides what to do with his win, he’s sure he will buy a new home and car. He also plans to take his two children, Rachel (20) and Daniel (16), to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for a blowout holiday.

James bought his winning Lucky Dip from the Tesco Extra on Dalrymple Street, Greenock. His winning numbers were 5, 21, 23, 34, 43 and 45.

The National Lottery changes the lives of winners like James as well as communities across the UK – players raise, on average, £30m for National Lottery-funded projects every week. In Inverclyde alone there have been 647 individual National Lottery grants made to date, funding projects across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors.

In James’ own back yard of Greenock, National Lottery funding has helped:

  • Auchmountain Community Resource Centre to train staff members and volunteers to deliver multi-sports activities in the youth club.
  • Connected, Confident & Included Inverclyde to deliver a range of skills and support services to improve the overall wellbeing of local disabled people.

For more information on National Lottery funding please visit

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