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Caldicot Gardener Sets Down Roots after £1M Windfall

They say money doesn’t grow on trees – but it does for freelance gardener Jacob Hodge, who only went into business with his friend two weeks ago and can now give up work altogether thanks to a life-changing £1million win on a National Lottery Scratchcard.

Jacob, 26, has also been able to upgrade his 09 plate Seat Leon to his dream car – a brand new Audi RS3 Saloon – and will also revamp his teeth and buy a new pad for him and his girlfriend of five years Aimee Dayment, and their three year old son, to enable them to finally live together.

Finances have meant Jacob has been living with his mum Amanda in Caldicot and his son has been with nursery nurse Aimee, but that is all set to change dramatically after his win this week.

Jacob, who established Caldicot-based Garden Force with his mate Lee Griffiths, says that the Vauxhall Combo van and tools he and Lee had invested in with the last of their savings, are now all Lee’s to keep.

Jacob said:

“I still feel quite sick about the win really, not like I would have expected to feel at all. It still hasn’t sunk in, although I’ve always said to the boys that I will have a win. It feels unreal.”

Jacob was on his way home from dropping the pram at his mum’s when he popped in to buy two 20X Scratchcards from his local store. He was celebrating a £10 win on the first card when he decided to splash out on another and couldn’t believe his luck when it revealed a top prize win.

He first called business partner Lee, who was convinced he was lying to him. He then tried Aimee, but had to leave a voicemail, as she was in work, and then mum Amanda.

He said:

“It definitely hasn’t really sunk in yet, but mum, Aimee and our son will definitely be getting lots of treats. I went straight to my friend Ben Scroggs, who works for Audi the same day as finding out I won and after a place for us to live, I’ll be getting my teeth sorted out! I’ve been thinking about it for a while – getting the brightest white you can have – but £3,000 has always seemed a bit much, when there’s been so much else we’ve needed. Not anymore! I just can’t believe it.”

Jacob bought his winning £5 scratchcard from The National Lottery at his local Co-Op Post Office on Newport Road, Caldicot.

There is a 1 in 3.66 overall chance of winning a prize on each scratchcard in this game. The card costs £5 and prizes range from £5 up to the top prize of £1M.

The National Lottery changes the lives of winners like Jacob as well as communities across the UK – players raise, on average, over £30m for National Lottery-funded projects every week. In Jacob’s native Monmouthshire postcode area alone there have been nearly 967 individual National Lottery grants made to date andfunding projects across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors.

For more information on National Lottery funding please visitwww.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk.