BARMAN Lien Bailey hit a fruit machine jackpot to become one of South Yorkshire’s richest men - but didn’t realise he had won for two weeks.
Lien Bailey, from Lakeside, Doncaster, was busy pulling pints for £6.08-an-hour for two weeks before he found out he’d won a record-breaking £807,313.43 - because his computer connection crashed before he could see the wheels fall into place.
When Lien did get back on-line he saw a message that the huge progressive jackpot prize had been won and logged off the game without realising he was the biggest winner in William Hill’s online casino’s history.
The 23-year-old had just had a £4.50 play on the Millionaires Club game.
The company’s previous record win went to a customer from Milton Keynes who landed £436,220.39 in April 2004 on the same game.
It was two weeks before William Hill staff finally tracked Lien down just as his shift at the town centre Urban Bar and Lounge in Doncaster town centre got under way.
He says his interest on the win would have been more than 10 times his weekly wage.
Lien, who earns an average of £174 a week, won the equivalent of around 89 years’ wages with his online punt.
He said: “I didn’t believe it at first - I just thought it was a joke.
“But then I thought why would a stranger be saying this to me - it wasn’t like it was one of my mates having a laugh.
“I told the boss that I would carry on working and he said ‘no, go home’, but I managed to do about an hour before it really started to sink in and I left the bar.
“I actually felt sick and when I told my girlfriend Katie she was in shock.
“I have not been able to go to sleep since - it is amazing and it’s completely life-changing for me.
“I have been to the Range Rover dealer and like the look of a £52,000 top-of-the-range Autobiography HSE Sport with a 2012 plate.”
Lien lives with his step-dad in Doncaster and also acts as a carer for his dad Neil, 44, who has muscular dystrophy.
He is a qualified fibre optics telecoms engineer, but was made redundant and retrained as a chef.
Then they closed the kitchen where he worked and he now works at the bar. Lien added: “In November last year my mum Tracy, 42, died after the cancer that started in her breast spread to her lungs and her liver and ended up in her brain.
“So you couldn’t say I’ve been particularly lucky until now. In the past I’ve won a couple of quid on a National Lottery scratchcard and a £1,000 on William Hill roulette was my biggest win before this.”
Lien has known his girlfriend Katie Brandon, 26, for around 20 years but they’ve been dating for just under a year.
He said: “We have talked about marriage in the past and she’s known me through growing up and what an idiot I can be. I know for sure she’s not with me for my money.”
Katie, a manager at Claire’s Accessories, said: “He came into the shop and told me and I really thought he was joking.
“He left after telling me and went back to work and I really did still think it was a hoax.
“I do believe it now - but I love him just the same as I did before the win. He’s always been priceless to me.”