Blaze-hit Jon’s joy at scooping £65k prize prize

Monday 23rd May 2022 11:00 am

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AN engineer who saw his workplace go up in smoke has a smile back on his face after scooping a top-of-the-range £45,000 car and £20,000 cash in an online competition.

Jonathan Smith, 47, was left devastated with fellow employees when the Clean Linen & Workwear laundry on the Overross industrial estate in Ross-on-Wye was gutted by fire two weeks ago.

But having spent £2 on a ticket for a BOTB online competition, he was bowled over when presenter Christian Williams surprised him at work last week with news that he had won a Ford Mustang with a bulging boot of cash.

Jon revealed that the Mustang would actually be his second, having bought himself one last year after realising ‘life’s too short’ when his father died.

“I knew I’d do it,” he laughed. “I’ve been playing BOTB for just over a year and I always watch the winners’ videos.”

And Jon said this week was perfect timing to finally win after a “tough couple of weeks”.

“The factory where I work burnt down last week, so it’s been a really tricky week trying to sort things out,” said the electrical mechanical engineer.

“It’s been awful, the whole team has been down, we’ve been worried about job losses and all sorts.

“Things are looking up now though, we’re hoping to re-build the factory in the next year to 18 months.”

Jon said the BOTB win gave the whole team a well needed boost.

The Ford Mustang GT boasts a V8 engine with 530ft/lb Torque and 444bhp under the bonnet.

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Jon added: “Mustangs have always been a dream of mine after growing up seeing American muscle cars on the TV.

“I actually bought myself one last year after my father passed away from Covid and I realised life was too short.

“So now I’m going to have two - one for the week, one for the weekend,” he laughed.

But it wasn’t just the car that he won, as he also scooped £20,000 cash as part of the prize.

“I used all my life savings to buy the Mustang so this money is definitely going to come in handy,” he said.

“I’ll be going away for the weekend to Mallorca first with my wife, Lisa, and then we’ll have a think about what to do with the rest.”

Jon said he’d also give some of the cash to his son Kian and step-daughter, Layla.

The BOTB company, listed on the stock market, hands over the keys to two stunning cars each week as well as a ‘lifestyle’ prize.

Recent winners have bagged a quad bike and a holiday to the Arctic.

Since being founded in 1999 by William Hindmarch, BOTB has given away more than £47m worth of cars.

BOTB’s Christian said: “What a crazy few weeks Jon has had! I was so pleased to be the one to give him the good news and turn his frown upside down. Massive congratulations once again Jon!”

Last week the owners of the Paragon laundry said they had been “humbled by the messages of support and offers of help” following the Monday, May 2 blaze.

And they said they were already back up and serving their customers thanks to help from their other sites.

Around 60 firefighters using 12 fire engines and two aerial ladders fought to control the blaze near the Labels retail outlet after the alarm was raised shortly before 2am.

To see Jon’s shock reaction to winning his prize, head over to

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