BOOKMAKERS feared the work of a prankster when the winner of a £124,987 first prize in a nationwide contest culminating ahead of Easter was Mr Bunny.
Suspicions arose further when his stable entry in the Tote-Ten-To-Follow competition, which beat around 40,000 other entrants to the main prize, was titled 'The Warren'.
But the winner of the Easter cash is in fact retired accountant David Bunny who now plans to spend the money on his three cherished grandchildren.
The 72-year-old, who lives just a few miles from a Tote base in Warrington, said:
"It is a competition I do every year and spend a tenner on the entry.
"I am not online as I retired 22 years ago and we didn’t really have computers back then, so I only realised I was in the running a couple of days before I got the phone call.
"I am glad about that as I’ve been suffering from panic attacks and would have worried if I’d known for longer but I did come home shaking when I realised I was in with a chance of winning.
"We plan to take the grandchildren to Disneyland and some other treats, including swimming with dolphins."
Mr Bunny’s winning stable 'The Warren' in the Tote Ten To Follow jumps season competition featured the following horses: Sire De Grugy, Dynaste, Jezki, My Tent Or Yours, The New One, Annie Power, Rocky Creek, Hurricane Fly, Sprinter Sacre and Silviniaco Conti.
Tote commercial manager Ben Turnbull said: "When that name popped up just ahead of Easter we thought it was a wind up and that someone was pulling our leg.
"It didn’t help that he appeared at the top of the leader board around April Fool’s Day.
"But we got an even bigger surprise to discover that it actually was Mr Bunny in the money in time for Easter.
"We thought about making a large cheque presentation, but when we heard he planned to spend his windfall on treats for his three grandchildren we decided a giant Easter egg would be better."