£1m scratchcard winner still worked Christmas Day shift at pub
Didzis Pirags used the £6.50 he had left in his National Lottery account to play the online game.
A single father and chef who won £1 million on an online scratchcard said the win will change his life completely – but he still turned up for his Christmas shift at work.
Didzis Pirags, 36, was on his lunch break at the Hungry Horse pub in Broughton, Preston, Lancashire, on Saturday when he decided to spend the £6.50 he had left in his National Lottery online account.
The Latvian-born kitchen manager, who has a five-year-old son, was in the flat where he lives above the pub when he started to play the Merry Millions Instant Win Game online.
The regular lottery player said: “The first thing I scratched off said £1 million.
“The nanny was there and I said ‘could you look at it, could you look at it please, I can’t believe it, is that £1 million?’
“I literally ran downstairs and said to my boss ‘look, look it’s £1 million isn’t it, isn’t it?’
“She said ‘yeah, it is £1 million’ and I rang the number and they confirmed it.”
Mr Pirags, who works 60 hours a week and pays for a nanny to look after his son, said he plans to find a job which means he can spend more time with his child.
At the moment, he works 12-hour shifts including at weekends so is only able to spend time with his son a couple of evenings in the week, he said.
He has bought a Barratt homes four-bedroom house for £280,000 with his winnings and said he wants to let the win “soak in” before he decides what else to spend the money on.
He said he did not spoil the youngster over Christmas but bought him from some headphones as an extra present.
He worked his shift from 10am until 4pm on Christmas Day as well as working Boxing Day and is planning to work this weekend.
Mr Pirags, who moved to the UK nine years ago, said: “I still need to finish my shifts.”
He is also planning to buy a new car and give his current car to a friend.
He said: “All I want is to be able to provide the best possible life for my son and this win will enable me to do exactly this.”
Revealing his win at a press call at the Marriott Hotel in Preston on Friday, he said: “This is totally unbelievable what has happened and the best dream come true ever at Christmas time.”