A RETIRED bank worker has won the opportunity to have his bills paid by The Lancashire Telegraph.

John Venables and his wife Hazel were delighted to find out they had become the lucky winners of the Lancashire Telegraph’s latest competition to win £2,000 towards household bills.

Having lived in Blackburn with his wife for 40 years since moving from Chester, the 71-year-old has been reading the paper ever since.

The couple are looking forward to paying off their bills and saving money toward a beautiful Christmas with their family.

Mr Venables said: “I don’t enter competitions a lot, but every now and then I think, somebody has got to win.

“When I found out we had won, I was pleasantly surprised.

“The money will cover all my household bills for the next three months, all the usual costs, like council tax and water etc.”

The retired bank worker is grateful for the chance to pay their bills in order to live with ease in the next couple of months.

He said: “It’s a tremendous help and it means I can save money and spend it on something else.

“I was going to, if possible, take my immediate family out for a meal and make sure we have a good Christmas. I can’t say we are struggling financially, but this will help us.”

This is not the first time Mr Venables has been lucky, he has also won £500 a couple of times in Blackburn Rovers competitions.

But, this is the first time he has won an amount as big as this to help with household bills.

Mr Venables said: “This will help with the lockdown especially as we have not been able to do anything nice, so it would be great to do something else.

“Lockdown has been very trying and we are used to going dancing, going to church and I miss going to football matches.”

The couple still talk to family members by phone in their free lockdown time as well as sequence dancing online.

Mr Venables said: “We just want to get back to normal now, but we know everyone is feeling the same.”

Lancashire Telegraph editor Karl Holbrook said: "We've been here for the readers during this difficult time and that has been reciprocated by the readers who value us as a trusted news source. We wanted to give something back to the readers and are delighted for John and his family."