A LOTTERY-winning grandad died before finding out he’d scooped a share of £7.9million.
Andrew Gillion entered the draw hoping to treat his family to a well-deserved holiday but fell down the stairs and broke his neck at a friend’s house before his golden envelope arrived in the post.
Thankfully the 59-year-old’s daughter Lisa Thomas was able to collect the cash prize on his behalf.
But tragically, after years of playing the postcode lottery, he will never know he finally won.
Andrew received £8,092 of the £7.9m jackpot split between the victors, including neighbours on his street in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.
Mum-of-three Lisa thinks it was one last gift from her dad, who used to tell her: “You won’t be laughing when I win.”
She told the Daily Record: “When I got it confirmed, I felt absolutely devastated at first.
“I could just hear the excited phone call from him telling me he had won and I know his first thought would be to book us all a holiday.
“Now I still feel sad that he’s not here to enjoy this with us, but I also feel some excitement for him and I’m sure he has had something to do with this.
“There’s been so many ‘signs’ since he left us and I’m certain he is watching saying ‘I told you so’.”
Lisa recalled how she teased her father because the first Christmas card he received before his death was from the postcode lottery.
“All I remember him saying is, ‘Well you won’t be laughing when I win’, and he was right, I wasn’t laughing, I was crying,” she said.
Lisa, from Hamilton, said she wasn’t sure exactly how she would spend the money, but it would likely go towards a holiday to Florida.
“That’s where we got married and I have loads of amazing memories there with my dad,” she added.
“I’ve been five times and never without my dad being there so it will be a sore one, but I know that’s where he would want to go.”
Andrew was at a New Year’s Eve party in 2021 when he slipped and fell in a freak accident.
He was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow for an operation to take pressure off his broken neck but passed away during the procedure a week later on January 7.
His relatives discovered he had scored a lotto prize through one of his neighbours.
Andrew, who worked for Scottish Water, is survived by Lisa and three grandchildren – Connor, Aspen and Farrah, who “cried her eyes out for hours” when she discovered how much her grandad had won.
His death notice described him as a “devoted dad, adoring grandad, father-in-law, much-loved and loving son, dearly loved brother, brother-in-law, uncle, nephew and good friend to so many”.
Pals said he was “one of life’s best folk” who was “always smiling”.
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.