Mukhtar Mohidin was typical of many East African Asians who arrived in Britain in the Seventies.
Settling in Blackburn with his parents, he worked hard, and by his early 40s he was supplementing his income from the chemical plant by renting out a workshop he had bought. The cash that bought the winning ticket was provided by his tenant, Ismail Lorgat, who handed him £50 to pay a £46 electricity bill in that fateful week in December 1994, and told him to spend the £4 change on the exciting new Lottery.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.
The freshly-dug grave offers no clue to the enormous wealth once enjoyed by the man who lies within it.
Those morally and ethically opposed to the Lottery cited it as a counterpoint to the uplifting testimonies of other winners, which organisers Camelot were only too eager to publicise.
The lurid red-top headlines about Mr Mohidin, and his so-called ‘£18m Indian takeaway’ abated during the late Nineties, when the family changed their names, and his wife obtained a court injunction preventing their children from being identified. Today, however, I can reveal what became of Britain’s first Lottery multi-millionaire.
There was a strong suspicion that someone inside Camelot had tipped them off.
There was then a major political debate about the ethics of naming the family, before a judge decided the public had a right to know.
When he haggled over the price of a suit in a West End branch of Burton — saying he could get it cheaper in Blackburn — she said he was embarrassing her.
But there his marriage quickly fell apart, and his relatives were riven by jealous feuds as they fought for a share of the spoils.
His descent became a parable for the ills of instant wealth.
But his father was an Islamic teacher, and counselled him against accepting any money, saying it was so contrary to Islam it would ‘bring about the destruction of my offspring’.
Though Mohidin had ticked the ‘no publicity’ box, the Press soon tracked him down.