So you win the lottery today. Would buying a weather station be on your list of things to buy?
For 62-year-old Alan Rowley, who scooped up £1.9m on a National Lottery Lucky Dip, it certainly was and that’s exactly what he did.
It has been about seven years since that Mr Rowley was lucky enough to win the lottery. To date, one of his grandest purchases was his state-of-the-art meteorology machine that he keeps in his back garden in Selston.
Of course Mr Rowley did the wise thing first and buy a new house and car but also decided to splash out £20,000 on a weather station, which feeds data directly to his computer. The information he gathers is then sent to other national meteorology websites including Weather Underground.
His interest began though through one of his hobbies, cricket. Having worked as a voluntary press officer at Langley Mill Cricket Club, he was acutely aware of how much a spot of rain could change the state of play of a game.
He said: “The weather has always been linked to cricket and I wanted to record the weather so I could have an idea of what the conditions would be like at the weekend.”
“I always had a passing interest in the weather like most people have, I just had the idea of being able to record it so I can plan ahead.”
Mr Rowley has been keeping an eye on some of the unusual weather patterns this summer, with temperatures hitting highs of 37C at the beginning of July before giving way to periods of storms, wind and wet weather.
While many of us might describe this summer so far as being anything but average, Mr Rowley said: “It’s been an average summer so far, that would be the best way to describe it. It is not the been the coldest by a long way, it’s just been average.”
Alan was running a cleaning business when a visit from lady luck gave him the fortune to win the lottery and said he didn’t realise he had won millions until three days after the draw.
Not sure if it was the shock of disbelief or just being down to earth, but he still went to work when he found out, cleaning toilets with almost £2million in the bank.
As well as the weather station, Alan has spent £100,000 building his own wildlife garden. He has so far spotted foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and more than 40 species of bird.
He added: “It’s something both me and my wife have been interested in and we’ve always wanted a big garden; I think everyone should look after wildlife.”
“A lot of species are struggling, especially hedgehogs and so anything we can to help do to help rectify that we will do.”
A National Lottery spokesman added: “When you Win The Lottery, it is a life-changing event not just for the winner but for their family and friends too.”
“Many winners take their time deciding what to buy with property and cars topping the list of purchases, but some opt for something a bit more unique.”
Some of the team here have compiled a list of some the stranger things that they would buy. Here a few of the things on their lists of must buy items.
– A submarine
– A lab of scientists working on whatever I want for a year
– A room filled with a pool of spongy balls
– A real Iron Man suit
What do you think would be your most unique purchase?