I MUST BE THE UNLUCKIEST MAN IN THE WORLDWinning the lottery is something that we all dream about every day, but to lose the magic ticket before you’ve even cashed it in is surely the stuff of nightmares. And it’s a nightmare that West Yorkshire bin man, GARY EGGPIPER, knows about all too well having come into an unbelievable fortune on several occasions, only to have lost the evidence whilst on his way to collect the winnings.
“I sometimes feel like the world’s basically just playing a sick joke on me” Eggpiper told the Choddington Chronicle. “For something like that to happen once is rotten luck, but to have to go through it on multiple occasions just makes you wonder if it just isn’t supposed to happen for someone like me.”
Gary, 43, went on to explain how his bad luck with winning tickets hasn’t only affected him but has also cost his friends and family the chance of living the high life.
“I wouldn’t mind so much if it was just my money because I’d only have myself to blame, but unfortunately these winning bets have always been part of a syndicate which means that losing the slip has cost my loved ones their fair share as well…I feel pig sick about it.
Money shouldn’t be the most important thing in the world but sadly my lousy luck has resulted in bad blood with the people I care about most.”
Eggpiper, who enjoys racing sports cars at the weekend, explained how he first came to both win and lose a mammoth windfall.
“It first happened about 10 years ago. Me and my family had been paying into a little syndicate since the National Lottery first started. My mum, my sister and two brothers each chose a line which was all made up of birthdays and dates that were pertinent to the family. My older brother, Alan, kept it in his wallet and we’d all give him the money so that each week he could buy the ticket when he went to pick up his fish and chips on a Friday night.
Over the years we’d picked up a tenner here and there, but nothing to write home about, until one evening I got a call from Alan. I could barely understand what he was saying through the excitement but it didn’t take me long to realise that we’d hit the motherload. That night had been a massive rollover and the jackpot was a whopping £24 million. It was so exciting that I actually felt dizzy. It really is a feeling like no other. Me and the family all met up at the local pub and celebrated like we’d never celebrated before. This money was life changing to all of us, and not least to my dear old Mum who needed an operation on her legs and my sister, Pat, who’d been off work for years with depression.
The next day I agreed to take the winning ticket to Camelot and sort out all of the boring admin…but what happened next still sends a shiver down my spine.”
The binman, who lives in a 9 bedroom detached house in a private road near Ilkley, explained how he came to lose the lotto ticket which would have seen his mother, and each of his siblings, receive almost £5 million each.
“I was walking to the bus stop with the prize winning piece of paper firmly wedged in the pocket of my jeans. The burden of responsibility weighed so heavy on me that I remember my brow dripping with sweat. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a fox ran out of the woods and knocked me over. As I fell my jeans must have torn on a fence post or something and I remember watching as the lottery ticket fluttered out of my pocket and into the road. With no thought for my own safety I sprinted into the path of oncoming traffic to retrieve the prized coupon but alas I was too late and I watched in horror as a peregrine falcon swooped down, picked it up in its wretched beak, and flew away into the distance with everything we’d ever dreamed of.”
Gary, who owns a boat in the Dordogne, now had to tell his family the bad news and pray that they could find it in their hearts to forgive him.
“The next few weeks were all a bit of a blur. I remember there was a lot of shouting and tears as tension in the family ran high. I frantically tried to find a way to sort it out but there was nothing I could do and the money was gone. Unfortunately Camelot said that without the ticket their hands were tied because my brother Alan had bought it from a shop that didn’t didn’t have CCTV. I tried to explain to my family that in many ways it was Alan’s fault but things turned ugly and I decided it might be best if I moved out of the family home that we all lived in and into a new house that had a bit more room.”
Eggpiper, whose mansion contains an underground swimming pool and bowling alley, was confused by his family's reaction.
“I appreciate that my family don’t want to see me anymore but I sometimes feel like they don’t understand that I’ve lost out as well. I also had things I’d have loved to have done with that money. I sometimes think that they forget that I’m a bin man. They say that time heals all wounds so I’m hopeful that they’ll forgive me one day.”
32 stone Gary who is currently dating a 22 year old underwear model from Ukraine, thought that he’d seen enough drama for one lifetime but in an almost unbelievable turn of events, he was just about to go through it all again.
“After the lottery debacle I started spending a bit more time with the lads that I ran the bins with. I hadn’t really been turning up to work much because I was studying for my helicopter pilot’s license but I was still seeing the boys at weekends. We used to go metal detecting around the Yorkshire Dales and then spend the evening in the pub studying the bits and bobs that we’d dug up. Our plunder was usually just old bottle tops and the odd rusty key, but one day our detectors started beeping and flashing away like billy-o. We began digging and what we found absolutely blew us away. We’d just unearthed a treasure hunter’s dream, thousands of gold Anglo-Saxon coins dating back over 1000 years and worth a kings ransom. We had it valued at almost £5 million and went out to raise a glass and celebrate.
The next day, after an interview with the local rag, I agreed to take the life changing hoard down to the British Museum and sort out all of the tedious paperwork…but what happened on my way still makes me wince with frustration.”
Eggpiper, who was last week photographed at one of Elton John’s Christmas parties, described how he lost his second opportunity to become filthy rich in another bizarre and unfortunate turn of events.
“I was on the train with a case full of the extremely valuable coins thinking about what had happened the previous year with the lottery ticket. I was determined to take extra special care of it it this time and also looking forward to being able to have the opportunity to give my share of the cache to my family and start building bridges. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the train door opened. There must have been a fault with the electronics or something. I went over to try and fix it but the train must have hit a fox or something because as it jolted I fell out and rolled down a hill into the woods. Dazed and confused and only concerned with my colleague’s money, I frantically darted around the undergrowth trying to find the case but unfortunately, just as I spotted it, I could only watch helplessly as it was carried off over the treetops by some sort of eagle or falcon or something.”
Gary, who owns a vineyard and was recently featured in Forbes Magazine, now had to tell his workmates that they wouldn’t be jumping off the bin lorry just yet.
“I felt absolutely awful and couldn’t believe it was happening again. None of the lads were as understanding as I’d hoped and the whole thing had put a deep fracture in the friend group. At that point I decided it was time to quit my job and get away from it all for a while.”
Eggpiper decided to go and spend some time on the Caribbean islands of St.Kitts & Nevis whilst he let things cool down back in Yorkshire.
“I was sat on my boat thinking about how lonely I was and actually feeling a bit annoyed with my friends and family who didn’t appreciate that missing out on the chance to become a multimillionaire was something I’d have to live with for the rest of my life.
I buddied up with some rich fellas whilst I was on holiday. They were nothing like me at all and we had very little in common but we seemed to get on OK. One evening we had a skinful and decided to all go in on buying a racehorse. It all seemed a bit mad for a penniless bin man like me but you only live once and I was on holiday. A few weeks later it was running in the Grand National and we pooled our money We each threw in 1Mill into the pot and gathered around the TV. Unbelievably the bloody thing won and all of a sudden we were holding a ticket for almost £80 million. I’ve never drunk as much as I did that night I can tell you. I couldn’t believe I was going to get my third shot at prosperity.”
Gary, who owns the publishing rights to over 30 track by The Beatles, couldn’t wait to get hold of the money and make amends with his friends and family back in Yorkshire.
“With my share of the £80 million I’d be able to pay back my family, my colleagues and still have enough left to live out my days with more than enough. The next morning I agreed to take the betting slip to the bookies on the main island and deal with all the faffing about… It couldn’t happen again and this time I’d be extra, extra careful.
I hired a small motor boat and headed to the island with the betting slip safely in the gusset of my underpants. I wasn’t taking any chances this time. I was about halfway across the choppy, Caribbean waters that separated the two archipelagos when something hit me in the head knocking me into the sea…possibly some kind of water fox. As I spluttered to the surface with no consideration for my own wellbeing I saw the invaluable slip of paper floating away from me. As I darted towards it like a torpedo some sort of tropical kestrel dived out of the heavens, snatching it with its cruel talons and sadly I could only watch as the bird disappeared down into the briny deep.
I decided to get on the first plane back to West Yorkshire and stay at home with only a team of armed security guards for company. I don’t gamble or put bets on anything anymore as I’m terrified of what might happen if I ever try and collect the winnings. It’s already cost me my family and friends.
I sometimes think about how different my life would be today if lady luck hadn’t dealt me such a cruel blow and I still had all of that money. I suppose it just wasn’t meant to be.”