Welwyn Garden City war hero wins £150,000 in lottery bet
PUBLISHED: 11:03 04 January 2019
A decorated Royal Navy veteran from Welwyn Garden City has won big on a £1 lottery bet after a friend persuaded him to give it a go.
Father of two Gary Beck, 61, from Welwyn Garden City, used his favourite National Lottery numbers – 2, 11, 12, 36 and 42 – when he switched to an Irish Lotto bet with BetFred.
He had been persuaded to do so after a chat with an old Navy pal from HMS Alacrity during a poignant Remembrance Day pilgrimage to the Falklands in November.
His former shipmate, Ian Bizby, told him he’d won enough on the Irish Lottery to pay for a holiday in the past and persuaded the 61-year-old to follow suit.
Gary and Ian were staying at Liberty Lodge on the Falklands during their trip with six other veterans.
He and his former colleagues were awarded a campaign medal, having been aboard Alacrity, a Type 21 frigate, that survived four Exocet-missile attacks.
He and everyone on board rescued men from the freezing South Atlantic waters after the SS Atlantic Conveyor was sunk by the Argentine Navy planes.
Gary, who served in the Royal Navy for 13 years from the age of 17, said: “I was in Gibraltar for New Year, getting a bit of sunshine with my wife, and thought I would check my phone to see how I’d got on in the Irish Lottery.
“You could say I went absolutely mental.
“I just cheered and jumped up, punching the air.
“My wife didn’t believe me but she did eventually after I showed her what had come up on the screen.
“I’d been using those numbers for ages on the National Lottery.
“We used to live at a number two, and then the twelve is because my birthday is in December.
“The other three numbers were just randomly chosen.
“After that chat with Ian, who was my boss in the Navy, I switched to Betfred and the Irish Lottery six weeks ago and then this happened.
“It’s absolutely fantastic ... I can hardly believe it. It’s just a nice amount to win that’s not enough for me to retire, but enough to make our life very much better.
“I’m going to upgrade my current Jag for a new F-PACE and then a dream holiday, probably to Mauritius. Then there will be a few quid for my son and daughter.”