Mechanics anguish after £108m EuroMillions win left him with huge challenge

A £108million EuroMillions winner has opened up about "challenges" he faced after scooping the eye-watering jackpot.

Former mechanic Neil Trotter, 50, won big on the lottery in 2014 after buying a Lucky Dip.

Although most people might think to splash out on a private jet and luxury holidays – or just burn through the cash on a mad celebratory night out – Neil had just one thing at the "top of his wish list".

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He and partner Nicky Ottaway, 42, had always wanted a house with a lake, so bought a 500-acre estate in southern England complete with a Grade II-listed Manor House. It was quite the change from their old three-bed semi.

Since then the pair have spent tens of thousands doing it up. He now has six lakes and woodland ponds. Neil said: "I may be a millionaire but there is no sitting in armchairs with a pipe and slippers for me."

The couple had to move out of the new home at several points during the much needed renovation. During the first winter for example, the entire west wing flooded.

"At times it seemed like I had bitten off more than I could chew! I always dreamt of having my own lake but owning so much land has been a huge challenge and responsibility," Neil said.

Nicky initially tried to talk Neil out of buying the mansion. She said: "The project was too big, the woodlands were in a poor state, there were so many dead trees everywhere and the house was barely liveable, despite its size."

But Neil pressed on and after nine years of work the estate is his proudest achievement. "It’s a pat on the back after all the hard work to see the wildlife returning to the estate," he said.

"We planted miles of native hedgerows to provide food for the birds in winter, and by clearing what were muddy puddles in the woods and transforming them into wildlife oases we’ve seen the mandarin duck population boom, herons now nest here, we’ve got kestrels, two species of deer and smaller mammals such as stoats."

Neil has also allowed himself some fun too, and now a Jaguar and a Porsche sit on his driveway.

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