A dad-of-three from Wickford can call a halt to his job hunt after his Lucky Dip ticket matched all six numbers to scoop the £9,339,858 Lotto Jackpot on Saturday.

Paul Long, 55, is putting his life-changing win down to Leyton Orient’s home win on Saturday afternoon.

A lifelong fan, Paul decided his teams win was a lucky omen and celebrated by buying a Lucky Dip ticket for that night’s Lotto draw.

Paul said: “I try to go to most home games and this was our first win since before Christmas so I was feeling pretty chuffed, not half as chuffed as I’m feeling now!”

A father to three grown-up children, Paul recently moved into a new rented home in Wickford.

Out of work for some time due to health issues, he was readying himself for a job hunt when he saw his emails on Sunday morning.

He said: “When I saw the email on Sunday morning from Camelot I thought it would be a few quid but when I logged into my account the account balance was still £3.90.

"Then I saw another message which I thought was congratulating me on a £9,000 win and to call the number on the screen.

“When I called I think I must have misheard the lady on the line because she congratulated me on a jackpot win and while she confirmed a £9million win, I think I must have still been in denial as I still thought it was £9,000.

"I was well happy and thought that would ease things as I started the job hunt.”

Still sure that he was a jackpot winner of £9,000 Paul rang his mate to share the good news.

When he explained he’d won the jackpot, his friend was able to advise him it was not nine grand but more than £9million and the job hunt could be put on hold permanently.

Paul said: “I have to admit it’s been a crazy few days and it’s only been in the last 24 hours that I have dared to believe it’s real. But now that it’s starting to sink in I’m able to do a little shopping and make some exciting plans for the future.”

An employee at Ford’s Dagenham plant for more than a decade, Paul’s first purchase was to trade in his 16 year-old Fiesta for a brand new Ford EcoSport.

He explained that he did not want to buy a flash car like a Lamborghini as it "wasn't him".

While that concludes his current purchasing, his dreams for the future are extensive.

He said: “The very best thing about this win is that it’s big enough for me to share it with those closest to me and make sure everyone is looked after.

“My kids will all be secure for life and I can also help out friends, whether that’s a little cash boost, a holiday, to take in a show or just enjoy a posh meal.

"I keep saying, I want this win to help change people’s faces so that they go from humdrum to beaming grin. This is going to be one hell of an exciting adventure.

"The future is going to be very rosy, but it’s not just my rosy journey, I fully intend to take everyone on the journey with me.”

Paul bought his winning Lotto Jackpot ticket online at national-lottery.co.uk.

The National Lottery changes the lives of winners like the Paul’s as well as communities across the UK – players raise around £30m for National Lottery-funded projects every week across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors.

For more information on National Lottery funding please visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk