A man has beaten a billion to one odds after he found two incredibly rare lobsters – at a fishmongers in a landlocked county of Britain.
Joseph Lee, 47, is a caterer and was shopping at Makro Wholesale, a cash and carry, when he stopped by the fishmongers to peruse their wares.
When there he couldn’t believe his eyes, as he saw two orange Canadian lobsters – which are so rare that just one in 30 million are ever caught, making the odds of finding two of them one in a billion.
Joseph then approached the fishmonger, in landlocked Leicester, and convinced him not to sell the lobsters, which were listed for £25.50 – but instead donate them to an aquarium.
Joseph said: “I went in to do my usual shopping for my catering business.
“I saw these two orange lobsters from a distance and thought they were toys because that’s the only time I’ve seen them orange apart from when they’re cooked.
“I knew they wouldn’t have put cooked lobsters in there because you need to keep lobsters in a special tank with flowing water below seven degrees.
“I thought someone was having a joke and had put a couple of orange toy lobsters in the tank.
“I got closer and noticed they were alive. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“I’ve been going to Makro for ten years and used to be a fishmonger myself but I have never seen anything like that before.
“Rob the fishmonger told me they were really, really rare lobsters and to get one in the tank was a one in 30 million chance so the chances of having two are one in a billion.
“It is like getting struck by lightning three times and surviving each time.
“To have not just one but two in the tank is unimaginable.”
The dad-of-two, from Leicester, decided to try and save the lobsters from being sold so spoke to the store manager who agreed to donate them to an aquarium.
He said: “I couldn’t bare the thought that these extremely rare creatures would end up on someone’s plate.
“I spoke to the manager of the catering division who said they would donate them to a Sea Life Centre.
“It’s just incredible to see two of these amazingly coloured lobsters. I’m glad they’ve been saved so they can be enjoyed by people.”
Live lobsters normally have dark brown or grey colouring which makes it easier for them to camouflage in the wild.
They only turn orange after they are cooked, making the sight of two with a carrot-coloured exoskeleton even more rare.
Makro store manager Anthony Burrage said: “We have donated them to Birmingham Sea Life centre.
“After they arrived in the store from our delivery partners we realised they were unique and not the norm we called our Quality Assurance department and they did the rest.
“They called Birmingham Sea Life and they were collected on Saturday.”