‘Whatever I can do in the community, I will’ — West Sussex builder pledges to be ‘sensibly generous’ after EuroMillions jackpot win
A builder from Selsey, whose family have just become multi-millionaires, said he will be ‘sensibly generous’ with the money.
Steve Thomson, 42, and his wife Lenka, a 41-year-old shopworker, won £105,100,701.90 on what was the 25th birthday of The National Lottery’s first ever draw – becoming the ninth biggest winners ever in the country.
At a press conference this morning (Tuesday), the couple, who have been married for 13 years and have three children, were asked what they planned to do with the money.
Steve said: “We’ll be able to support close family, friends. It’s so much money that I’m going to be generous.
“I live in small village. It’s a nice village and I don’t want to leave so whatever I can do in the community, I will. I’ve got to be sensibly generous.
“We don’t want to leave Selsey. Everyone here is amazing. You can walk down the street here and everyone says hello even if they don’t know you. It’s very important that I stay where I like and make good for a lot of people.
“It’s very early days. There will be something happening charity wise but at the moment we’ve got to sort out family and get out heads around it. There will be help for the community and charity along the line.
“If we are sensible, we can help a lot more people than what we think we can.”
Steve also admitted concerns over the inevitable pressures which will come with having so much money.
“I still can’t get my head around the amount we’ve won. One [million] would have done but we’ve got 105. It’s just amazing,” he said.
“I am very concerned about [the pressures and people asking for money]. At the moment it is early days. I have been assured that, with the help of Camelot, we can overcome the many pressures.
“I’m not going to throw the money away. At the end of the day, I’m still Steve, I still want to live where I do. This is still Lenka. We don’t want to change. We are just going to be financially better off and so will a lot of other people.”
Steve also revealed why the couple chose to go public after their jackpot win.
“It was a very difficult decision,” he said.
“We have spoken over the weekend. In Selsey, a small community, trying to hide that sort of wealth would probably tear me apart inside having to lie.
“The best thing to do is to get it out there and we can help people who we want to and need to, without any questions being asked. We don’t have to worry about hiding.”
Steve said he will continue working as he is ‘not the sort of person to sit around doing nothing’.
He added: “I have been building for the last seven years or so. I’ve still got jobs to do before Christmas. I’m not giving up work.
“Life goes on. I still have to go and paint the ceiling because I fell through it when I was insulating someone’s loft. I made a mistake so I had to put it right.”