Anyone who gets a phone call out of the blue to say they have been entered into a draw to win a solid gold bar and cash worth £50,000 might just be a little sceptical.
Not surprisingly, that’s exactly how Keith and Betty Waddington, of Cleveleys, responded.
But when they were presented with a briefcase containing the life-changing prize at the Blackpool FC Hotel, on Seasiders Way, the reality of their win began to sink in.
The extravagant competition was organised by estate agents Oystons and the winners announced at a glamorous event at Rowleys restaurant, at the hotel.
The couple, who moved to the Fylde coast from West Yorkshire when they retired, said the unexpected windfall will help them realise their dreams of travelling the world.
Retired policeman Keith, 64, described the moment he was given the gold bar, worth an estimated £26,500, for the first time.
He said: “It’s surprising how heavy it is – it’s only the size of an iPhone but it’s incredibly heavy.
“We’ve never really been ones to win anything before but you try to keep yourself thinking that it has to be somebody.”
Now the couple face the decision over what to do with the bar.
Betty, 63, said: “We could sell it but you have got to decide when gold is at its best value.
“We won’t leave it on the mantelpiece, that’s for sure.”
And although they are in no hurry to spend the cash, the lucky pair already have a few ideas for putting it to good use.
Keith said: “We had already booked a holiday next year to go to a family wedding in New Zealand.
“We were dubious about whether we could really afford it but we decided to take the plunge and go.
“Some of the money will go on making it a trip to remember.”
Betty added: “I don’t know what to think – I’m still a bit shell shocked to be honest and it’s only just starting to sink in.
“We didn’t even know we were entered until they rang us. We didn’t believe it and just thought it was a joke.
“We’ve got three grandchildren so they will probably get something too.”
Managing director of Oystons, Kevin Allitt, said the competition was inspired by a £100,000 giveaway the company organised back in 1980.
He added: “The whole thing has gone extremely well and to see the look on their faces was remarkable.”
To be entered into the draw participants had to buy, sell, let or rent a property through Oystons.