It's an almost absolute certainty that when someone wins the lottery, the first thing they do is try to go bigger and better. They buy a new car or purchase a brand new home in a more affluent neighbourhood. This was not the case for National Lottery winners, Stan and Pat Cable, who attracted so much unwanted criticism for not wanting to move out of their council home.
The Cables, who won £4 million on 17 May 2008, have stated in no uncertain terms that they could not bare the thought of leaving the Suffolk council home after 27 years. However, critics have slated the couple for holding onto a home that a far less fortunate family can utilise.
"They should have bought a place of their own ages ago and released the house for someone on the waiting list," as Reginald Fidler wrote to a newspaper. "There should be scrutiny of council tenants to assess those with the means to buy or rent in the private housing sector, thus releasing accommodation for those it was originally intended."
"It is a council house and I presume there must be lots of people waiting for a property," he added. "It might be their choice to stay there but that's how I feel."
According to Suffolk council, there are nearly 2 000 people on the waiting list trying to find accommodation, of which there are only 3 500 council houses and they are all occupied.
Another critic said, "They're a lovely couple but they can afford to buy their house dozens of times over, or move into a mansion if they wanted. It's a shame that someone else can't benefit from their luck."
To make matters worse, the Fiddlers didn't react to the criticism to kindly after reading Fidler's statements. "We didn't take any notice of this chap. We are happy as we are and we like our neighbours."
A close friend came out in support of the Cables, stating: "It's outrageous that they should be criticised for staying where they are - they love the place and their neighbours, so they are in no hurry to move out. It sounds like a classic case of sour grapes and jealousy."
In all fairness to the Cables, they are reluctant to allow the money to change their lifestyle in any way, insisting that it won't change them. "I just can't change the way I feel about money in five or ten minutes," said Stan.
"We are not going to make this money change our habits," added Pat. "I have not got expensive tastes. This win means we can just buy what we want and we don't have to worry about the pennies anymore."
Corporate Director for the Mid-Suffolk council, Nick Gowrley, has come out in an attempt to put the matter to rest. "Unless they fall into arrears, damage the property or break any of the tenancy agreement they have the right to stay in their present accommodation. We are governed by national legislation that gives tenants a secure tenancy agreement."
"Mr. and Mrs. Cable have been secure tenants for a number of years and, although their financial situation has changed, their rights remain the same as any other council tenant."