A dad in the United Kingdom who won a home worth £2M — or about $2.5 million in U.S. dollars — nearly missed out because he thought he was getting a spam call as opposed to the real thing.
Simon Williams, 41, scooped up the latest "Omaze Million Pound House Draw" in the U.K. — a beautifully renovated cottage in Devon, according to SWNS, the British news service.
But he nearly missed out on becoming a multi-millionaire after he thought about ignoring the phone call that was about to tell him that he'd won.
He thought it was a spam call.
The aircraft engineer bagged an additional £100,000, or over $121,000, in cash to spend, too.
Originally from Kent, Williams has lived in his current three-bedroom house in Sussex for 15 years, SWNS said. He has two daughters who are still at home.
He said, "I got a call at work from a number I didn’t recognize. I’d been getting nuisance spam calls all day trying to sell me something and was at my wit's end, so I nearly didn’t answer — but I’m very glad I decided to pick up now."
He added, "When I found out I’d actually won the house, I was in sheer disbelief. I got home and opened a bottle of fizz to celebrate but could only manage one glass before I had to go to bed."
He added, "It was the most surreal evening of my life, so I needed a lie-down after all that."
He also said that the "only thing" he'd ever won in his life before this instance was a Platystation — which he said he'll now be "dusting off" and "setting it up in my new living room."
He also said about his experience, "I was meant to go out for dinner with friends that evening, but had to cancel at the last minute so I could meet the Omaze team and find out exactly what I’d won."
He said that "as much as I love my pals, it was well worth" missing the evening to learn he'd won a house.
"I’ll make it up to them with a meal at my new house when they come and stay," he also said, according to SWNS.
The "stunning" five-bedroom cottage is set amid "enchanting woodland that borders Dartmoor National Park," said the news service.
It features landscaped gardens, state-of-the-art appliances and an "exquisitely" designed kitchen and dining area.
The property also features a separate two-bedroom guest house with an open-plan kitchen-dining area, shower room and comfortable living area.
If rented out, local estate agents estimate the property could raise a long-term monthly rental value of almost £3,000 per month, or about $3,600 per month.
Said Williams, "I absolutely adore Devon. My late father used to bring me here for family holidays when I was a child. It’s such a beautiful county and it holds so many fond memories for me."
He described the house as "unbelievable, even better in real life. I’m not sure what I’m going to do long-term yet, but I’m definitely bringing the family here for a holiday so we can all enjoy it."
He said that "having my own place in Devon and being able to bring my family here, like my father did with me, is incredibly special — he’d have loved his place."
He said that he and his sister had been entering Omaze drawings "for a while and would always speak to each other after previous houses [were] given away, feeling jealous and wishing it had been one of us that had won — I can’t believe I actually have now."
The Omaze Million Pound House Draw has also raised £1,700,000 for charity Macmillan Cancer Support, which supported Williams' own father during his own battle with cancer, said SWNS.
He added, "I entered the draw because I absolutely loved the house and Devon — but also because Macmillan is such an incredible charity … I lost my father to cancer when I was in my early 20s, and they supported my father and us back then, so I know firsthand just how amazing the work they do is."
He also said, "I’m thrilled that this partnership with Omaze has raised so much money for them to continue helping families just like they helped mine."
The money raised will help Macmillan Cancer Support continue to support people and families living with cancer throughout their battle against the disease.
Gemma Peters, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said, "We are beyond thrilled that £1,700,000 has been raised by the Omaze Devon House Draw," as SWNS reported.
"This extraordinary amount of money will mean we can provide support, through diagnosis and beyond, to so many more people living with cancer and their loved ones, just like the support Simon and his family received."
She added, "Cancer can impact a person’s life in many different ways and so, every single day, we are here to do whatever it takes to give people the help they need … As a charity that relies almost entirely on public donations, we’re so thankful to the Omaze community for raising such an incredible amount of money."
She said the funds that have been raised "will have a huge impact on the lives of many people living with cancer."
Said James Oakes from Omaze, according to SWNS, "We’re thrilled that Simon has won this beautiful house in Devon, [while] also contributing to the £1,700,000 raised for Macmillan in the process — a charity that means so much to him and his family."
He noted, "Omaze is a win-win for both charities and entrants. By offering incredible prizes, like this wonderful property in Devon, we give people the chance to win amazing houses, [while] also introducing charities to audiences they wouldn’t usually be able to reach."
The organization, on its website, notes that it raises "money for charity by offering people the chance to win life-changing prizes. Why? Because we believe that by harnessing the power of dreams, we can help change the world."
The prizes are available only to residents of the U.K.