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Carrick man wins BMW and £20k weeks after losing job because of coronavirus

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Steven and Elaine Hamilton

Steven and Elaine Hamilton

Steven after his win, and Christian Williams

Steven after his win, and Christian Williams

Steven and Elaine Hamilton

A Carrickfergus man has said he cannot believe his luck after winning a BMW and £20,000 in cash just weeks after losing his job due to the coronavirus crisis.

Three weeks ago Steven Hamilton worked as an installer of pool tables and arcade games with a Belfast-based firm.

But when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, he was made unemployed at short notice having only started in the job last October.

Just when he thought his luck had run out, the 48-year-old was stunned to receive a call on Monday afternoon telling him he had won the car and the cash, thanks to dream car competition BOTB.

"I just could not believe it and the news still hasn't sunk in," Steven said. "People here don't win anything and having played a few times down the years along with people all over the world, never in a million years did I think it would happen to me.

"What it means is that some of the financial worries I may have had from losing my job have been lifted a bit, it will be such a huge help."

Meanwhile Steven's wife of almost 12 years Elaine (39) is working as a district nurse on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic every day.

"The last thing she needs is further worries like me being out of work throughout all of this but she has certainly been keeping me busy with painting jobs all around the house," he said.

"It was devastating to lose my job, and I know that is the case for a lot of people so this could not have come at a better time for us."

Steven said he has been a fan of the BMW e46 M3 ever since his friend introduced him to them years ago.

"I always say go for a car you want on BOTB," he said.

"I used to drive my friend's BMW e46 and I just thought it was incredible.

"It's almost got to a collectable status now where people just want to own and keep them."

Steven is the latest Northern Ireland winner of the competition, following in the footsteps of Ballymena man Ronan O'Dornan who won a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R worth £60,000, plus £20,000 last November.

BOTB presenter Christian Williams surprises winners all over the world every week, although coronavirus restrictions mean he is now doing them over Facetime, rather than visiting the winners on their doorsteps.

He said: "One of the greatest pleasures I get from doing the BOTB surprises is delivering the prizes to those who really need them.

"Steven has gone through a rough time losing his job and Elaine is doing brilliant work in the NHS, and I'm delighted to be able to deliver them this dream car as well as the cash, knowing what a difference it will make to their lives."

Belfast Telegraph