‘I think I’ve won the lottery by accident’: Thomas the Tank Engine fan, 24, who scooped £1m jackpot by ‘aimlessly’ playing game on his phone plans to buy a steam train with his winnings

  • Neil Leighton thought he had been scammed when the game told him he won
  • He said he had been playing the Cash Bolt Christmas Millionaire game ‘aimlessly’

A Thomas the Tank Engine fan who won a £1million jackpot by ‘aimlessly’ playing a game on his phone is planning to buy a steam train with his winnings. 

Neil Leighton, 24, from Hereford, thought he might have been scammed when he was playing the National Lottery Cash Bolt Christmas Millionaire game on his mobile and received a message saying: ‘Congratulations you’ve won £1M.’

The part-time assistant general manager, who was on an evening call with friends from the UK and the US at the time, told them he had won £1million and promptly left the chat.

Neil tried to call the National Lottery to confirm his win but the phone lines were not open at that time of night. Instead he hopped back onto his earlier call, announcing to his friends: ‘I think I have won on The National Lottery by accident’.  

The new millionaire said he is not rushing into spending his winnings, but as a fan of trains he may consider buying his own steam train one day. 

Thomas the Tank Engine fan Neil Leighton, 24, has won a £1million National Lottery jackpot after ‘aimlessly’ playing a game on his phone 

Neil was playing the National Lottery Cash Bolt Christmas Millionaire game on his mobile and received a message telling him he’d won £1million

Neil said: ‘They were so happy for me, although there was plenty of joking that only I could have won £1 million by accident.

‘We stayed up into the early hours discussing the crazy turn of events and having a little browse on the internet looking at houses and holidays I could now afford.’

He decided to tell his family the news the next day after confirming he had definitely won the prize with lottery officials.

He said: ‘I walked into the house and my mum and dad both jokingly said I looked far too happy, what had I been buying?

‘When I told them I’d bought something, a National Lottery instant win game, and I’d won £1 million, mum screamed, used some colourful language and then was convinced it was a scam.’

He said: ‘Ever since my grandad took me to see my first steam train when I was three, I have been fascinated.

‘It started with Thomas the Tank Engine and, to be honest, I never grew out of it.

The new millionaire said he is not rushing into spending his winnings, but as a fan of trains he may consider buying his own steam train one day

‘Now, if I’m not visiting a railway, I’m busy writing and filming my own take on Thomas the Tank Engine storylines which I share online, or collaborating with Thomas fans around the world on future projects.

‘So, top of the list is buying my own home, where I can have a train room, an entire space dedicated to trains, and another room for filming and editing my Thomas content.

‘Maybe, one day, if I’m wise with this win, I’ll swap the train room for my very own steam train.’

He is not planning to give up his job but wants to travel, take driving lessons and treat his family.

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