Want to know how a man from Ilford won the lottery twice?
- Credit: Archant
You would think that winning the lottery twice would be enough to convince anyone that they are lucky with numbers – unless you are George Traykov that is.
The 45-year-old of Ilford insists that he has bad luck and despite winning the EuroMillions twice, netting him £1.16million, he continues to play in the hope of hitting the top jackpot.
Incredibly the first time he won it took him two months to realise and even went sky diving, which he used to do for the Bulgarian national team, with the ticket in his pocket.
The first time he won was in 2011 and after carrying the tickets around for two months, decided to check late one night after filling up his car with petrol.
“When I went to check the ticket, a slip came out saying that it could not pay out the winnings and I had to contact Camelot,” said George. “I asked the guy what was the most he could pay out and he said £500.”
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At that point, most people would make the phone call then and there, but not George.
He went home, went to the gym and took a shower placing the lucky ticket on the table.
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When he checked online he realised how much he had won.
“I couldn’t believe that I had won,” he said. “When I called them the next day they said I was the missing winner for the past two months.”
Despite winning £1m, he continued to play buying tickets each Tuesday and Thursday in the hope of winning the mega jackpot.
He also continued living in his house in Ilford which he got the keys for the same day his 16-year-old daughter was born.
“I would not move from Ilford – I wouldn’t want to,” he said. “My street is very safe and I know and like my neighbours.
“On my street it’s like one big family and if I had any problems I would have moved straight away. I will be living there for a long time.”
After collecting his big win in January last year he won yet again in November this time winning £160,873.80.
George said: “The second time I found out I’d won, I was travelling the next day to Mexico for three weeks and got the money when I came back. I was one number short to win the jackpot – I’m telling you I’m unlucky with numbers.
“No one believed me in my family. They thought I was joking until the press release came out.”
Once he had claimed his prize he went skydiving with his daughter which is his true passion in life saying “there’s nothing better in the world”.
George started playing the lottery when he moved to the UK more than 20 years ago.
He is originally from Bulgaria and came to London by bus which took about three days as he could not afford a plane ticket.
He started working in hotels and, while all his friends were out having a good time, he learned English and was eventually promoted to working on reception.
“I’ve always worked very hard and never spent more than I have so money has never been a major problem for me,” he said. “In the end I moved because there was no more room for development. That’s how I am. I always want to be learning all the time.”
For anyone interested in his tactic in picking numbers he says he just lets the machine decided as he has “bad luck” but remains optimistic about hitting the big jackpot.
He added: “I will win it - I just don’t now when.”