Ceredigion actor Dion Davies is celebrating after clearing out his car before having it valeted and finding a £55,086 winning EuroMillions ticket.

The ticket was bought before Christmas when he was playing the Dame in Sleeping Beauty at The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven.

Dion, 47, has played the Pantomime Dame at The Torch Theatre every year since 2010, and has also appeared in BBC’s Torchwood and Sky’s Stella. He is currently rehearsing for a play he co-created called The Bet.

Still in shock after matching all five numbers plus one Lucky Star in the EuroMillions draw on Tuesday 20 December, Dion explains how he found his winning ticket, which was officially announced as unclaimed by The National Lottery in January.

He said: “I needed to clean the car both inside and out. It was in a terrible state after lots of journeys, so I took it for a professional valet. The guy asked me to take all of my belongings out before he started just in case he threw away something that was valuable! I’m glad he did.

“I found a multi lottery ticket in my sun visor that I had bought in December from Tesco in Milford Haven where I was performing in the panto. I took it to the Spar in Tregaron and the chap in the shop said I needed to call the number on the back of the final ticket because it was a winner!”

Dion then went home to tell his wife Ifana, and the pair then called The National Lottery to make the claim.

Dion said: “Ifana had a friend round, so she stayed with us while we made the call. When the person at the Lottery said it was a winner, we all went, together with a neighbour, for some lunch together, which of course included some fizz.”

The winning ticket was found by Dion on Thursday, 2 February, six weeks after the draw and a fortnight after the National Lottery announced the ticket hadn’t been claimed, encouraging players to check their tickets.

Dion said: “Would I have left the ticket there if I had cleaned the car myself? Maybe, and I would have never claimed. As an actor you always have ‘rest’ periods, so the win has come in handy!”

Dion and Ifana have a 15-year-old son and the three of them are planning a trip to Italy this year. A big sci-fi fan, Dion also hopes to take his son to Comic-Con in San Diego. The remainder of the winnings will be saved for another ‘resting’ period.

But the resting period hasn’t started just yet, with Dion’s next appearance very close to his heart.

“My next project is starring in The Bet at The Chapter Theatre in Cardiff. I came across a tale, a side story to the Welsh horse ‘Norton’s Coin’ winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1990. It’s a story about a man close to the trainer who didn’t bet on the 100-1 outside horse winning.”

Dion has been playing EuroMillions for many years and buys a ticket every week. His numbers are all family birthdays, and he bought his winning ticket at Tesco at the Havenhead Retail Park in Milford Haven. The winning EuroMillions numbers for the draw on Tuesday, 20 December 2022 were 1, 11, 17, 20 and 27 and Lucky Stars 4 and 5.