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Student's 100k scratch card win
15 Jun 2006

A 24-year-old student who bought a scratch card with his last 1 coin has scooped the top prize on a National Lottery scratch card.
Paul Thomas, originally from Powys, is planning to spend his windfall on a dream holiday to Brazil and a new car.

He also plans to pay for his parents to visit relatives in Australia.

But he confessed that celebrations were on hold because he was busy finishing his business studies degree at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.

Mr Thomas bought the winning Orange edition card from a corner shop near his home in Roath on Sunday.

Realising he had run out of breakfast cereal, Mr Thomas visited the shop and with his final pound coin also bought a scratch card.

Back at home he said he "couldn't believe his eyes" when uncovered the top prize.

Mr Thomas said: "I hadn't gone out with the plan of buying a scratch card - I just wanted some breakfast.

"It was a spur of the moment thing. I was so hungry I didn't bother scratching the card in the shop, I did it back at home while eating my cornflakes.

"When all the noughts came up, I just couldn't believe my eyes. I had to double-check at least 10 times before calling my housemate to get him to check the numbers too."

Originally from Llanfair Caereinion, near Welshpool, he confessed he had been unable to celebrate as he was completing a 4,000-word assignment.

1 March: Swansea teacher Mike Straddon wins 1.3m
11 March: Llanelli great-granddad Bob Bradley wins 3.5m
19 April: Cwmbran's Gareth Cooper wins 2.4m

"Once the essay's handed in, the celebrations can really start. My mum and dad wouldn't believe me for ages and I think my sister still thinks I'm winding her up," he added.

Top of his shopping list is a holiday in Australia for his mother and father as a thank you for all the support they have given him while at university.

For himself, he is planning the trip of a lifetime to Brazil with his girlfriend. A dream car is also planned.

He will not be paying off his student debt though, worth about 9,000. After taking financial advice, he claimed it was more cost effective to pay it off in instalments.

"I won't go mad and blow all the money. After the holidays and the car, I'll invest the rest of the money - probably in a house. It's a really great start to life after three years of being a student," he added.

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