A PUB-GOER was so excited he almost broke strict Covid rules after discovering he'd won a massive £250,000 top prize on a National Lottery scratchcard.

George Bates, 23, was about to enjoy his first Friday night pint in the pub when he revealed the big win.

The heavy plant operator, from Great Leighs, had bought the winning card earlier in the village post office.

George said: “That first pint on a Friday is always something to look forward to – even these days when we are social distancing.

"But I can tell you, winning £250,000 into the deal makes it quite a bit sweeter!

“I’d literally just got a pint and sat down at my table when I remembered the scratchcard I’d bought a bit earlier at the village post office.

"As I revealed the £250,000 prize symbol I leapt up and started to shout and cheer – I was buzzing!”

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • CHEQUE IT OUT! George Bates celebrates

The pub manager had to tell George to sit back down because of Covid rules and asked him what all the fuss was about.

The whole pub cheered when he showed off his winning scratchcard.

George said: “I’d bought the scratchcard earlier that day, shoved it in my pocket and carried on.

"I can’t believe I was jumping in and out of the car with the equivalent of £250,000 in my pocket.

"Once I’d seen what that little piece of card was worth, I downed my pint and headed home to tell my mum and give it to her for safe keeping.

This really is a life-changing opportunity for someone of my age and if I do it right, it will help set me up for life

“Telling my mum was epic.

"My brother was there too and we were just whooping and shouting.

"I think my mum was in total shock.

"It was an amazing feeling all weekend, rounded off nicely with me being able to treat my mum and two brothers to a slap-up Sunday lunch at the pub.”

George is now planning for his future.

He said: “This really is a life-changing opportunity for someone of my age and if I do it right, it will help set me up for life.

"I’ve just completed a training course so I am licensed to operate larger machinery.

"Now I can go self-employed almost immediately.

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • CHEERS: George is now planning his future

"Long term, I’d like to travel. There’s a crazy plan to maybe go to North America and drive diggers in the goldfields.

"Given my luck on this Scratchcard, maybe I should try my luck there.

“But in the short term, I’m going to put it all into investments, keep living with my mum and brothers, but keep a little back to make life a bit easier for us all.

"Maybe a few more meals out – when that’s safe to do again – and I’m thinking a hot tub for the back garden would be nice too."

George added: “It’s been a rubbish year – this is a pretty awesome way to finish it off.

"We’re going to have one hell of a Christmas!”