Edwin Chiew, 60, the jubilant winner who heads six-strong syndicate at a London restaurant, chose four winning numbers on the 49s Lotto with Betfred, based around the reference number from a New York to Heathrow flight ticket.
Kuala Lumpur-born Edwin, who has a Chinese father and Malaysian mother, emigrated to the United Kingdom, 25 years ago, working in a hotel kitchen.
He now runs the Ma La restaurant in St James’ Park, London, and is a regular at the Betfred shop at 31 Broadway in Stratford near where he lives.
He said: “Everyone tells me I’ve made history, with this being one of the biggest wins ever at Betfred… I feel so happy. I can’t believe it.
“Am I carrying on with my job? Of course I am. I am needed at the restaurant and I have a lot of friends there.
“I came to England 25 years ago to work in a hotel kitchen and then moved to the restaurant where I have worked myself up to supervisor.
“I only found out this morning when I woke up at 6am and got myself a coffee and started checking my emails and the website. I couldn’t believe it that all my 49s numbers had been drawn out. I knew I’d won a lot of money, but not exactly how much.
“I went round to the Betfred shop as soon as it opened where I know the staff well – and there was one of the bosses there with a bottle of champagne waiting for me which was great.
“I know it is strange but, those numbers were on a friend’s flight ticket when he came over with British Airways from New York.”
The numbers 30, 38, 39, 40, 45 and 46 were drawn out in the 49’s Lotto at lunchtime on Tuesday.
After opting for a series of combination bets, with a total stake of £160 on behalf of the syndicate and successfully selected four of the numbers – namely 38, 40, 45 and 46.
He went on: “It is my birthday soon and maybe I will go to see family in Malaysia and have a holiday in New York with my partner.
“I just can’t believe how fortunate we have been… Betfred have changed all our lives.”
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “There’s no doubt about it… this is the biggest numbers game win in the industry, and most certainly one of the biggest ever wins in the 50 odd years of Betfred. It doesn’t bother me one iota that my pockets have been picked when we have such worthy, hard-working winners.
“Congratulations to these fellas, and I bet there will be quite a party down at the Ma La Restaurant. I guess the invite is in the post. That’s food for thought eh Edwin! ”