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Spitfire ride won by great grandad Jim Sudds, 74, from Sheppey


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A great-grandfather is on cloud nine after scooping a £5,000 ride in a Second World War Spitfire.

Jim Sudds, 74, was at home on the Isle of Sheppey when presenter Christian Williams, who hosts a show on competition website BOTB, called to tell him he had bagged a Spitfire Experience to fly in one of the last remaining aircraft.

Sheppey pensioner Jim Sudds, 74, won a £5k Spitfire Experience
Sheppey pensioner Jim Sudds, 74, won a £5k Spitfire Experience

A stunned Mr Sudds replied: “Oh, that’s fantastic. I used to build plastic model kits of planes when I was a nipper and living in London. We’d put bangers in the cockpits and throw them off the balcony!”

He paid 35p to enter the luxury lifestyle competition and correctly identified Porsche as being the one car in a line-up not made in Britain.

He said: “Having worked in the motor trade from the age of 15 as a mechanic, driver, workshop manager and fleet manager until I retired I should have got it right!”

The flight of a lifetime offered to take him soaring above the white cliffs of Dover to relive history aboard one of the only 53 Spitfire air-worthy models left in the world.

But the grandfather of six and great grandfather of three has since decided to take the cash instead.

Sheppey pensioner Jim Sudds, 74, won a £5k Spitfire Experience
Sheppey pensioner Jim Sudds, 74, won a £5k Spitfire Experience

He admitted: “On reflection, I thought doing loop the loops and barrel rolls at my age might not be such a good thing. You can fall out of those aircraft, you know. With Christmas coming up and heating bills rising I have decided to take the money. It will come in very handy. We're going to treat ourselves to a new carpet.”

Mr Sudds lives in Prince Charles Avenue, Minster, with his second wife Jan. She has four children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Jim said: “She spotted the competition and suggested I enter because she knew I'd always wanted to fly in a Spitfire. So I bought £7 of tickets but I never thought I'd be picked. It's the first time I've ever won anything!”

BOTB hands over the keys to two new luxury cars every week as well as a lifestyle prize.

Other winners have bagged £15,000 cash, a holiday to Las Vegas and a gaming tech bundle.

BOTB presenter Christian Williams called up great grandad James Sudds, 74, from Sheerness to tell him he had won a £5,000 Spitfire Experience
BOTB presenter Christian Williams called up great grandad James Sudds, 74, from Sheerness to tell him he had won a £5,000 Spitfire Experience

The company, listed on the stock market, was founded by William Hindmarch in 1999 and has given away more than £44million-worth of vehicles so far.

Presenter Christian, who surprises winners every week, said he was thrilled to give Jim the good news.

He said: “What an amazing prize James has played for. To fly in one of the last remaining Spitfires in the world is a truly fantastic experience. I’m super excited for him!”

To hear Jim’s reaction click here

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