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Modest millionaires keep their feet on the ground

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 04, 2014

By EVA JONES

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wdnews@b-nm.co.uk

A Lotto winner who scooped £1.4 million has revealed his biggest purchase so far – his council house.

Great-grandfather John Alford, 76, vowed the win last April would not change his thrifty lifestyle.

But instead of moving to a country mansion he opted to buy the £125,000 housing association property he has lived in with Pauline, 76, for the last 56 years.

The modest millionaires did trade in their Ford car – but only for an unassuming Nissan which Mr Alford described as a "real treat".

He admits he is glad he didn't win more as he doesn't know what to spend his money on.

The retired lorry driver said: "At our age it's a big thing to just up sticks and move away. We have a lot of friends around here and I was the chair of the tenant's association for many years, and we just like the place. It's a very nice home, with a large garden – not like these modern houses with a postage stamp out the back. It is our home for life. For me, it is the memories that the money can buy rather than possessions."

Mr Alford, of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, scooped £1,437,220 in the April 13 draw with a lucky dip ticket. It was his third win of the day after netting £2 on a scratchcard and £5 on the Thunderball.

The couple moved into their three-bed semi the year after they married – when their prefabricated house on the same spot was knocked down. They rented it from Selwood Housing Association before buying it for an undisclosed sum last year. Local estate agents say the average ex-local authority home in the area sells for around £125,000.

He has since traded in his 2006 Ford Fusion for a £24,000 Nissan Qashqai – the first new car he has ever owned.

Mr Alford, who has three grown-up children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, said: "I don't think I could've coped with any more money as we'd struggle to know what to spend it on. It's a struggle to change. We still go into the supermarket looking for deals and then I think to myself 'what are you doing?' but that's the way we've been brought up.

"It's not that we're tight, but if you've lived your life that way it's hard not to. We've never been really really poor but we've never been able to just get whatever we want at anytime, so this is just our way of life. Don't get me wrong, we don't use the cooker as much as we used to as we like to eat out for a treat, but it'll be a pub lunch, or at the garden centre, or the café at Tesco."

This year they plan a trip to Cyprus for their grandson Ryan's wedding, where they will then stay on for a two-week holiday.

"The big thing for us is that we don't have any worries during our twilight years – there's no need to plan, we can be spontaneous and enjoy ourselves," added Mr Alford.

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