Supermarket manager wins £500,000 on lottery as puppy spends a penny

Sam Russell, PA
·3-min read

A supermarket manager won £500,000 on an online lottery game as he let his pet dog outside to go to the toilet.

Gareth Bradley, 41, of Milton Keynes, was running a series of job interviews from home when he took a break and decided to play the National Lottery game Mega Cashword on his phone.

The game costs £5 to play and offers a one in 2.5 overall chance of winning a prize, with amounts ranging from £5 up to the top prize of £500,000.

Mr Bradley said: “I’d actually gone onto the National Lottery app to play Lotto but decided, as there was a little more in the account than I realised, I’d treat myself and play an online Instant Win Game too.

“I’d pressed the final letter to be revealed in the game when Ruby, our springer spaniel puppy, made it very clear she needed to spend a penny.

“In a situation like that you don’t mess about, so I quickly put the phone down and immediately took her outside.

“Ruby’s penny spent, we came back into the house and as I picked up my phone saw it was flashing £500,000.

Gareth Bradley (left) won £500,000 on the National Lottery game Mega Cashword, and celebrated with his partner Connor Dennis. (National Lottery/ PA)
Gareth Bradley, left, and his partner Connor Dennis (National Lottery/PA)

“I just couldn’t work out what had happened, so I logged into my National Lottery account where I saw a balance of £500,000.

“Turns out, the last letter I pressed was the top prize-winning M!”

He called his partner of eight years Connor Dennis, 28, to share the news and Mr Dennis initially thought he was calling with sad news.

“Gareth sounded really shaky as he fought back the tears, saying to me ‘you won’t believe what’s happened’,” Mr Dennis said.

The couple have set aside a lump sum to pay off their mortgage. (National Lottery/ PA)
The couple have set aside a lump sum to pay off their mortgage (National Lottery/PA)

“Given the times we are living through, I assumed the worst and that something dreadful had happened.

“I ran out of the open plan office thinking I needed to find somewhere private to commiserate with him, only to discover I needed somewhere private to let out some whoops of delight, but only after he’d sent me a video of the winning message to prove he wasn’t winding me up!”

Mr Bradley has twice been a donor father for close friends and celebrated the birth of his second son in September.

This was closely followed by Mr Bradley starting a new job, he and Mr Dennis buying their first home together and then welcoming 16-week-old puppy Ruby into their lives.

Mr Bradley said: “It’s been a crazy time all round, but I think winning £500,000 while your puppy spends a penny has to be the craziest of them all!”

The pair plan to continue in their jobs and will set aside a lump sum to pay off their mortgage.

Mr Dennis said: “We can’t get our heads around how lucky we have been, we’ve only had to pay the mortgage for three months and now have the funds to never have to pay it again.

“We know we’ve been lucky and while we do have a few frivolous plans – a Rolex for me and a Range Rover to replace Gareth’s Kia – we are not going to waste this luck.

“We have lots of plans to really make the money work hard so that it’s there for our families in the longer term.”