A former Royal Marine is celebrating this week after landing the £35k jackpot prize in this month’s Veterans’ Lottery!
Phillip Gaffney, from Redcar in North Yorkshire, would have been happy enough with winning the £5,000 first prize but when his rollover number dropped and secured him a further £30,000, he was left ‘over the moon’ at his good fortune.
The 38-year-old, who included two tours of Afghanistan in his 12 years of service, only signed up to the Veterans’ Lottery in January 2021. And he did so after seeing a fellow Royal Marine tell his story on the Veterans’ Foundation YouTube channel.
“I’m a friend of Pete Emerson-Thomas, a Marine who I saw tell his story about PTSD online,” said Phillip. “After that, I visited the Veterans’ Foundation website and was impressed with what I saw.
“For those reasons, I decided to join.”
Phillip comes from a military family, his father and sisters have served in the Royal Navy, and have seen first-hand some of the issues that can affect veterans.
“Everyone knows someone either in the forces, or who has been affected by being in the forces,” added Phillip.
“It feels good knowing that such a small monthly amount is going to such good causes and covers so many veteran issues.”
Having left the Royal Marines, Phillip now works for Network Rail as a safety instructor and was conducting a training session when he got the call to tell him he’d landed the big money prize.
“Luckily I was showing a video at the time,” he explained, “so I was able to take the call. I was absolutely over moon. I had to get email confirmation though because my fiancé of four years didn’t believe it!
“With the winnings, I plan to do up the house, get some decent garden furniture and have a few holidays too.”
The £2,000 second prize was won by Christine Hardy, who comes from Chesterfield, while a further 40 players each received £120.