Lottery winners who scooped £10,000-a-month to spend slice of cash on their cat
6 November 2019, 15:05
A lucky couple who won £10,000 a month for the next 30 years said the first thing they splashed out on was urgent medical treatment for their cat.
Gavin and Sylvia Odolant-Smith won the National Lottery Set For Life game - worth £3.6 million - after buying a lucky dip ticket.
The couple, from Battersea, south west London, had only been buying lottery tickets for six weeks before they struck lucky.
They used their first payment to start treatment on 13-year-old rescue cat Phangan, who has had her cheek removed after being diagnosed with face cancer.
Mrs Odolant-Smith, 42, said she screamed so loud after discovering the win - at 6.30am on October 24 - that her husband "thought someone was breaking in".
Mr Odolant-Smith, 40, who manages 20 pubs in London, said: "I picked up a rolling pin; I was going to go downstairs to see if we were being burgled
"I was all blurry-eyed... then I thought it must be a hoax - it's been hacked, it's not going to be true."
Catering company manager Mrs Odolant-Smith said once the winnings were confirmed, she was "shaking."
She said: "Gavin couldn't control his emotions, I was trying to keep him calm but it was impossible, he was just jumping around all the time.
"Everything has just been a rollercoaster, ever since."
The couple said there was little time to celebrate in the following days because of a busy week in the pubs with rugby fans queueing at the doors from 7.30am each day for the World Cup.
Mrs Odolant-Smith said they want to "stay grounded" and they will be spending their winnings on "securing the future", a trip to Disneyland for their nieces, and French lessons for her husband.
They will also be donating to charities including Wood Green Animal Shelter, where they adopted Phangan and their other cat, Zia, a dog home in Wales called Tyr Capel Animal Sanctuary, ELHAP charity for disabled children in Woodford Bridge, north-east London, and Whitechapel Mission homeless charity.
Mrs Odolant-Smith added their long-term plan also involves setting up a sustainable interior design business in France, where she is originally from.