Over 1,000 people in Middleton, Greater Manchester are celebrating this weekend after their postcode area, M24 1, was announced as the winner of June's Postcode Millions draw. The news sees residents share a £3.2 Million prize.
Eleven residents playing with the full winning postcode, which was announced as M24 1LS, each landed a whopping £145,454.
Mark, who works for a company that manages professional darts players, learned of his windfall during a video call with People's Postcode Lottery Presenter Jeff Brazier - while sunning himself alongside sports legend Mark 'Webby' Webster in Spain!
Mark's joy was doubled when his partner Kathryn also bagged a cheque for £145,454, taking the couple's joint winnings to almost £300,000. The darting dad-of-two said, "I thought 'happy days', £70,000 each. But then Jeff pulled out another cheque and I was like, 'Oh my God!'
"I'm 17-stone six-foot-two, a big lad, and I did get quite emotional."
The overjoyed Mancunian is enjoying a week off work with a group of friends in Spain, and said Webster, nicknamed 'The Spider', was sat right next to him when he got the call. Mark added, "He was just shaking his head and saying, 'It's unbelievable', and that he was so pleased for me.
"We're going to a beach bar tonight for my mate's 60th and I'll be putting a few bottles of champagne behind the bar. It's going to be some night now."
Gobsmacked Mark admitted he'll be able to cut down his hours at work. He said, "It's a life-changing amount of money. It's going to make things so much easier.
"I'm not getting any younger as I'm 57 next month, so I can now be more selective about when I work."
The couple have received an outpouring of love after news of his win spread fast. Mark said, "My phone hasn't stopped pinging with all my mates congratulating us, it's pretty surreal."
HR manager Kathyrn, who had plans to go on a hen do that evening, said, "I'll definitely be having some champagne tonight. I would have had a good time anyway, but I am going to have an amazing time now.
"I didn't really get to celebrate my 50th birthday as my dad wasn't very well. I think I'll take the family away somewhere nice and then go on a girls' trip. I deserve one!"
The couple, who have been together for 20 years, hope to spend some of their money on renovating their garden. Mark is also scrapping his plans for a man cave in favour of a man mansion. He said, "I started building a man cave about four years ago, but it's been an eyesore in the garden ever since. I think I'll knock it down and build a much bigger one.
"And yes, it will have a dartboard."
Next door neighbours and best friends Kim and Sharon found out together that they'd each scooped a £145,454 cheque. The elated grandmothers are so close that they have a hole in their fence through which they chat and pass each other meals and cups of tea.
Kim said, "Sharon's more than a friend - we are family. This couldn't have happened to a nicer person. We've been through so much over the years and we wanted to learn how much we had won together. It just seemed right.
"Sharon's sons saved my life when my house was on fire years ago. We have been close since the moment she moved in in 1986."
Kim cares for husband David after he developed a brain disease two years ago. She added, "This money will allow us to make his life more comfortable and to create memories together."
Sharon, a carer, who is originally from Bangladesh and regularly donates money to help build homes for those in poverty, was overcome with emotion when she learned how much she'd won. She said, "I won't really believe it until it's sitting in my bank. It really is the most amazing feeling.
"When we thought it was over a thousand pounds, we both planned to spend the money on our gardens but now I know how much it is, I might just buy Kim's from her.
"I never thought I would be able to take my grandchildren away on holiday and I feel so blessed that I can. I don't know where yet but I can't wait to spoil them all."
Stylist and wigmaker Michele also netted a £145,454 cheque and is already planning some major house renovations.
She said, "We'll have to get the architects in. I'm going to get a new kitchen with an extension and renovate the garage, so it's fit for my husband David's classic car."
Another winner, also called Michele, was delighted with her win. She said, "This is amazing. I can't put into words how I feel. I can do a lot with this for me and my family. I'm really overjoyed."
"We can go see my daughter in Manhattan, go to the Caribbean for Christmas and we could also see my husband's sister in Florida. We could go anywhere now."
The 1,051 remaining players in the area received cheques ranging from £1,359 to £5,436, depending on how many tickets they played with.
People's Postcode Lottery Presenter Jeff Brazier said, "It's been a wonderful day surprising many of our winners in the full winning postcode.
"The lucky eleven on the winning street will undoubtedly have bundles of fun celebrating their win.
"And it's amazing that over a thousand other happy people have each scooped a tidy win. Congratulations Middleton!"
Thousands Of Supported Projects
Today's prize is part of a draw promoted on behalf of Postcode Support Trust (opens in a new tab). This trust provides regular grant funding to organisations which support people who need help to live happy and more fulfilled lives. Supported charities include Crisis, Missing People and Royal Voluntary Service.
With 33% of the ticket price going to Charities, our players have now raised more than £1.1 Billion for good causes across Great Britain and internationally. People's Postcode Lottery players have funded thousands of deserving projects protecting people and the planet.
Local good causes have also benefited from player support. Charity Spoons was awarded £17,178 last year to support the wellbeing of families who are experiencing, or have experienced, neonatal intensive care. The charity helps around 1,000 families each year and delivers a range of support including trauma therapy, peer support groups, advice and information.
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