Laughing to the bank with tax freedom

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THE WINNER of the Independent's tax freedom promotion could not take his success seriously.

Peter Roe from Bicknacre, Essex, thought the phone call to tell him he had won was a joke. 'I've had people ring up before for a laugh telling me I'd won the pools,' he said. 'In fact, I didn't really believe it until I rang back and got a consultant to confirm that I'd won.'

The electronics engineer, 38, has won the amount he would pay in income tax on his pounds 20,000 earnings for the next 10 years. He can choose a lump sum if he prefers.

Mr Roe has been married for 12 years to Lynne, a civil servant working at the Department of Social Security in Basildon. They met through a mutual interest in motorcycles.

Mr Roe, who is a keen squash player and swimmer, was not sure how he was going to spend the money.

'I'm definitely going on holiday - Lynne and I haven't had the chance to go on holiday since moving house two years ago. And we have a lot of improvements to complete in the house, so it will come in very useful,' he said.

The second prize winner was Marjan Denis, of north-west London, who wins one year of tax freedom, while third place went to Peter Chandley, from Leeds, who wins one month of tax freedom.