The lottery winners seek to please the stray cat, Billy, who has brought them luck

A couple who win the lottery seek to please the ‘lucky’ stray cat who moved into their home six months ago with a £1m fortune.

Tony Pierce, 71, and his wife, Deb Pierce, 63, began feeding Billy the black cat at a time when they were both experiencing financial difficulties.

Shortly thereafter, the Southend, Essex, couple won £1 million in the National Lottery in 2017 and shared their fortune with their pet Billy.

Billy, who is believed to be eight years old, is spending the holidays with the couple at their second home in Norfolk, has a ‘mega carrier’ so he can move around while traveling and enjoy a selection of food to choose from.

Ms Pearce said: “Some people say black cats are unlucky, and I can’t say that anything could be further from the truth!

“When Billy showed up we were about to sell our beloved home and become homeless ourselves.

Lottery winners Tony Pierce, 71, and his 63-year-old wife, Deb Pierce, are sparing no expense to take care of their cat, Billy.  (National Lottery / PA)

Lottery winners Tony Pierce, 71, and his wife, Deb Pierce, 63, are sparing no expense to take care of their cat Billy (National Lottery/PA)

“Tony stopped working due to ill health and we were deeply in debt.

“It seemed our only option was to go into rented accommodation. Then, six months after Billy’s arrival, the lady’s luck struck and our lives were changed forever.

“We were able to stay in our home and renovate it into our perfect slice of heaven.

“We’ve been enjoying holidays so far and so close to home, we’ve bought a place in Norfolk, somewhere we’ve always loved spending time and somewhere the whole family can enjoy.

“To top it off, we finally said ‘I do’ at our dream wedding.”

Billy is now part of the family and the couple spared no expense in looking after him, paying for twice-daily insulin injections after he was diagnosed with diabetes and put on a custom hypoallergenic diet.

Billy, believed to be eight years old, was straying when he arrived at the couple's home six months before they won the 2017 lottery. (National Lottery/PA)

Billy, believed to be eight years old, was lost when he arrived at the couple’s home six months before they won the 2017 lottery. (National Lottery / PA)

“Apart from our demand for his twice-daily syringes, we also jump through hoops for his catering whims,” ​​said Ms. Pearce.

“Maybe it is due to his wayward days when he must have enjoyed a very varied diet, but now we have to keep a selection of food for him.

“If he’s had more than three days on the same flavor, he turns up his nose, and while he enjoys his chicken and vegetable meal, Billy doesn’t like peas.

“I find myself rooting through his food, picking peas and wondering who the National Lottery Millionaire is here?!”

Pearce said he had bought a “super-carrier” for Billy to travel with them to their vacation home in Norfolk “so he would have room to move around for the trip”.

“I thought he might find it very stressful the first time but he settled down and slept all the way,” he said.

Now, when the carrier comes out of the loft, he jumps in as if to say ‘Come on, let’s go! “

“To make sure Norfolk is a home from home, he has exactly the same setup there as he does in Essex and that level of interest seems to suit him well.

He arrives, sniffs a bit around the deck and then settles in as if he’s never been far away.

“When I find myself footing the bill for Billy’s veterinary care or specialist diet, which comes more than our annual trip to The Savoy, I can’t help but think that Billy might be lucky too.

“It’s not a bad life for a Southend stray who clearly showed up on the right doorstep at the right time and proved to us that black cats are, in fact, lucky!”

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