Dream comes true for railway signalman as he is handed keys to £60,000 car

Network Rail employee Phil Pinning had a surprise win of a Range Rover and £10,000. Picture: Steve Williams. Network Rail employee Phil Pinning had a surprise win of a Range Rover and £10,000. Picture: Steve Williams.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
8:34 AM

Railway signalman Phil Pinning was given the surprise of a lifetime at work on Tuesday morning as he was handed the keys to a brand new Land Rover and £10,000.

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Network Rail employee Phil Pinning had a surprise win of a Range Rover and £10,000. Picture: Steve Williams.Network Rail employee Phil Pinning had a surprise win of a Range Rover and £10,000. Picture: Steve Williams.

Phil, 60, was the lucky winner of the Best of the Best competition, which gives entrants the chance to win the car of their dreams simply by playing a regular ‘spot the ball’ quiz.

And, unbeknownst to Phil, he was called away from the tracks at Ely Station shortly before lunchtime on Tuesday to be greeted by competition founder William Hindmarch, with a cheque for £10,000 and a set of keys to a new car.

Phil said: “It was unbelievable to have won because I have been playing the competition for around two-and-a-half years and got used to seeing other people win from around the world.

“I have always had second hand cars and it has been a long-standing dream of mine to own a Land Rover. I’ve never won anything in my life before so this is just incredible.

“My colleagues all congratulated me and said it couldn’t have happened to a nicer man, it was a bit overwhelming.”

Initially grandfather-of-four Phil was won of four people who were in the running to win so he was asked to do an extra quiz to help determine an outright winner. Phil sat down with his wife Christine and it was their joint effort that clinched it.

“I normally do them on my own but we decided to do it together. It felt like it was meant to be,” he added.

“You never really think it’s going to happen to you and then it does,” added Phil who started his apprenticeship on the railway and then left before returning to work at Network Rail 14 years ago. “It just feels fantastic and shows that dreams do come true.”

Despite his success Phil said he and his wife Christine, from March, plan to carry on playing the competition, simply because of their love for cars.

Best of the Best gives away a dream car every two weeks and since launching in 1999 has handed over the keys to more than £14 million pounds-worth of dream motors.

Mr Hindmarch said: “Just knowing how much it means to people is one of the reasons we love what we do. It’s life-changing in so many ways. All their reactions differ to some degree but they are all incredibly excited and it’s heartwarming when people can share in that moment and really enjoy doing so.”

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