Scratchcard millionaire (46) plans to get driving lessons and buy first car

TrendingBy Sunday World
Amadou Gillen
Amadou Gillen

A father-of-two is to start driving lessons and buy his first car at the age of 46 - after scooping £4 million (€5m) on a scratchcard.

Amadou Gillen purchased two £4 Million Black and Gold Scratchcards while on a dinner break during a 12-hour shift as a kitchen manager.

He returned to work, at a Wetherspoon pub in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and scratched the cards while sitting in an outdoor staff area.

The first card revealed Mr Gillen, originally from the Gambia, had won £10 and the second netted him the top prize of £4 million.

Mr Gillen kept his winnings a secret from his colleagues and simply returned to finish his shift - later breaking the news to his thrilled family.

He plans to take an intensive driving course next week, allowing him to upgrade his provisional license and buy a Peugeot as his first car.

"I want to buy a house and start my driving lessons," Mr Gillen said at a National Lottery press conference at Bowood House in Calne, Wiltshire.

"I have never started lessons. I have had my provisional driving licence since 2009 but I have never been able to afford to have a car or lessons.

"At the moment I just want to get a simple Peugeot and then I will get a BMW X6. I want to start an intensive course by next week."

Mr Gillen has worked five days per week as a kitchen manager at Lloyds No1 bar in Trowbridge for the past five years, following an apprenticeship with McDonalds.

He purchased the two scratchcards from McColls at about 8pm on May 25, returning to the pub's outdoor staff area to use them.

"I knew straight away I'd won £4 million," Mr Gillen said.

"I went back to work to finish my shift but I didn't say anything to anyone - I was screaming and dancing inside."

He waited until the money had arrived in his bank account before breaking the news to his daughters Takysha Smith, 20, and Sera Gillen, 22.

His colleagues are still unaware of his win as he did not disclose it when he left work and handed his keys to his manager at the pub on Saturday.

Single Mr Gillen has already booked a holiday to see his family in the Gambia, where he left to study in England in 1993.

He is currently renting a one-bedroom flat in Trowbridge but has begun looking to buy a four-bedroom house in Bristol.

Since his win, Mr Gillen has also splashed out on new clothes - shunning designer shops for his favourite TK Maxx.

"I can get designer stuff there for discount prices - it is the same stuff as you get in the Gucci shops," he added. "I do like a bargain."

Mr Gillen hopes to pay for his daughter Sera to study sciences at university and go on holiday to Jamaica.

"This win is a life-changer for me," he said.

"I can now tick the boxes of everything I've ever wanted to do - learn to drive and get a car, own a house, go on holiday and help pay for my daughter's university education in the UK.

"Once I've looked at how I'm going to invest the money, I will decide what else I want to do, but I have decided not to go back to work."