Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Double winner 'not that bothered'

George Traykov celebrates his second win on the EuroMillions

A man who won the lottery twice, scooping over £1.16 million in total, has joked that he is not "that bothered" by the wins and wants more.

George Traykov beat odds of one-in-438 million when he picked up a £160,873 EuroMillions prize this year to add to the £1 million sum he won in the Millionaire Raffle in September 2011.

But the Bulgarian property developer, who lives in Ilford, Essex, joked that his windfall could have been even bigger. "I missed the big jackpot by one number," said the 45-year-old, who was just one digit short of claiming £12 million.

Adrenaline junky George said the thrill of his second win did not compare to his real passion, skydiving. "I wasn't really that bothered," he said. "Nothing compares with skydiving."

It is a hobby many fathers may not encourage their 13-year-old daughter to do, but not so for Mr Traykov, who was once a member of the Bulgarian skydiving team. "The first win enabled me to make a few changes in my life, most importantly sending my daughter Elaine to private school and maintaining her skydiving training sessions," he said.

Mr Traykov, who never picks his own numbers and always plays the lucky dip, was so laid back about his second big money win that he did not even claim it until two months after the prize draw in November. He added that he could be sitting on even more money, saying he had a few more tickets he had not yet checked.

Mr Traykov, "happily divorced" in his own words, lives alone but was accompanied to a photo call to celebrate his win by a mysterious young brunette who kept hold of his 11-month-old pug puppy, called Muffin.

He moved to Ilford in 1995 and does not plan to move away from the area. "I didn't know anyone at that time and I didn't have much money and the only place I could afford a home was Ilford," he said. "The place, the area, it is very safe, I have lovely neighbours."

For clean-living Mr Traykov, some of the trappings of a millionaire's lifestyle will take some getting used to. Thinking back to his first win, he said he had difficulty celebrating in the traditional way. ""I don't drink and I don't smoke so I had to waste a whole box of champagne until I got it (spraying champagne) right," he said.

Mr Traykov bought his winning ticket at a Tesco store in Barking and could maybe one day make it a hat-trick of wins as he said he planned to carry on playing. Asked if he would help out charities, he said: "I have, but in my own way, not with charities. I help friends."

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