Husband Scoops £3.75 Million After Placing £2 Bet - But Can Still Claim Benefits
The best thing that usually happens to us when we return from the toilet is our mate buying us another drink. But for Shelley Roche it was the news that she would soon be a millionaire.
Tommy and Shelley Roche - who have eight kids - spent £58 on Bet365's £2-a-go Reel King Slot when they won big.
Tommy couldn't believe it when he pocketed the £3.75 million on 10 October and assumed their £3,000-a-month benefits would stop when he rang HMRC.
Tommy and Shelley, both 30, were then told that while their housing benefit and income support would stop - they will still get other benefits that they claim.
The pair were astonished to discover they will still get child benefit, child tax credits and disability living allowance for some of their kids - aged 12, 10, nine, seven, five, three, one and eight months.
The family are now set to move from their three-bed council house in Eltham, south east London, to a £850,000 ($1.13 million USD), six-bed pad in Dover, Kent, with stables next week.
Tommy, who was unemployed for two years before the win, has also bought five cars - some for family - and a quad bike to drive at his new home, he said.
The pair never went out as a family by car because they only had a VW Beetle, but now have a fleet of cars and are next set to add a BMW X5 to it.
The dad, who refused to say how much he was getting in benefits now, said: "I spent £60 online on Bet365 and won just under four million.
"We were new to the slots. It was about half 1 in the morning we got on there, obviously we had kids to sort and stuff. Next minute you know, we've become millionaires.
"I think we woke the whole neighbourhood. It was unreal - you don't expect to win that, just under four million quid.
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"It means a lot, yeah. I've got eight kids, we still get to keep our benefits - other than income support. I've barred myself from going back on Bet365 already - I'd rather go and spend my money."
Shelley, who grew up in Woolwich, added: "It's tax-free money. We rung HMRC, we rung all the benefit offices. The only thing which did stop is income support.
"Obviously it's child benefit and child tax credit, so it's for the kids. So we told them the percentage we get from the bank, and we still get that.
"I tried to stop it, but they said it's for your children. They said you don't have to stop child tax credit because it's for the children.
"It's not an income for me and Dad - income support is for me and him. Child tax credit and benefit is for the children. My housing benefit has stopped. We're doing everything right and above board."
Tommy has been out of employment since he worked at a recycling centre and Shelley is a full-time carer to one of their sons who has ADHD. They also have a 10-year-old daughter who is autistic and an eight-year-old son who has hyperactive disorder.
Speaking about their new home, Shelley added: "We are buying a six bedroom place, with a one-bedroom granny annexe. It has planning permission for a two-bedroom bungalow. It has horse stables and three acres of land.
"We like Dover, it's out of he way and quiet and near the seaside so the kids will love it with the beach. They kids will have to move schools. We are going to invest in buying some other houses and renting them back to the council. And maybe buying a salon or a cake shop."
She continued: "Tommy has bought a new shape Transit van and an ST 3 Ford Focus. I've bought myself a new Vauxhall Corsa and we are going to buy a BMW X5. We had one car before, it was a VW Beetle. Tommy won't get rid of it.
"We didn't have a car for us all to go out in. So we didn't go out past 4pm when the kids were home from school. We had to use public transport.
"I want to go to New York and Disneyland with the kids. But I've got to get passports from them. They haven't got them. We have only been to Sheerness. It's truly life changing."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS