Lottery-winning couple’s first purchase as millionaires is £17 back-scratcher

Lee and Helen Kuchczynski, from Cumbria, have also bought a new house and car.

22 July 2022

A lorry driver and his wife who won £3.6 million on the EuroMillions said their first purchase was a £17 back-scratcher.

Lee Kuchczynski, 52, said he was in Yorkshire driving his HGV when wife Helen, 58, rang to tell him they had become millionaires after matching five numbers and a Lucky Star in the draw on Tuesday July 12.

Asked about his first purchase, he said: “I bought a new back scratcher because I snapped my other one at work so I bought an expensive one worth £17 instead of £8!

“The rest of the time we’ve just been sat there in a daze really.”

Cumbrian couple EuroMillions win
Helen and Lee Kuchczynski, from Cumbria, celebrate their £3.6 million EuroMillions win (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mrs Kuchczynski said she was at home in Kendal, Cumbria, with their 21-year-old daughter at 7.30am when she had an email to tell her of the win and logged onto her account, where the couple bought Lucky Dip tickets weekly.

Initially she thought the message might have been a scam because she could only see a balance of 40p.

She then had a 20-minute wait, which she spent drinking coffee, before she could call the National Lottery to check and ring her husband to share the good news.

Mr Kuchczynski said: “She goes ‘are you sat down?’

“Well, obviously, I’m driving. I was right on a break anyway so I pulled into a layby and she says ‘we’ve won the lottery’.

“My first thing was can I come home, so I rang my boss up and he was good enough to change my work round and get me a load back home and I’ve been home since.”

After telling her husband the news, Mrs Kuchczynski, a financial administrator for a charity, logged onto her laptop and started work.

Cumbrian couple EuroMillions win
Helen and Lee Kuchczynski with their cheque (Danny Lawson/PA)

She said: “I needed to do the girls’ wages and I had to do that otherwise I would have had 19 girls trying to get me quickly, so I just had to blank out what was going on and get on with it.”

On Thursday the couple, who have been married for 24 years, celebrated Mrs Kuchczynski’s birthday by buying a new house and an Audi RS4 Avant car.

They said they never believed they would become homeowners, after renting all their lives, and cannot wait to move into the detached house near their current home with their daughter.

Mr Kuchczynski, who served in the Army until 1995, said he will now be able to have a hernia operation, having never been able to afford to take the time off work for it before.

He said: “Hopefully as people we won’t change, but we can just look after ourselves and look after the people we love.”

Mrs Kuchczynski said she was planning a shopping spree but would still be on the hunt for bargains.

Her husband said: “I might drag her out of Matalan and we’ll go to Marks and Spencer!”

News of the Kuchczynskis’ win comes after a UK ticket-holder this week claimed a record EuroMillions jackpot of £195 million.

Mr Kuchczynski said: “It is completely overwhelming. I feel sorry for the poor person who has just won £195 million because it’s blown my mind just £3.6 million!”

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