A retired firefighter and a great-gran who have lived in adjoining semis for over half a century are celebrating after winning a share of £1 Million days before Christmas.
'Over the moon' neighbours Steve and Maureen each scooped a cheque for £200,000 on People's Postcode Lottery.
They both moved to the winning postcode in Whitchurch with their partners in 1970 - when Apollo 13 was launching towards the moon!
Steve and wife Brenda flitted to the street a week after Maureen and husband Reg. And the couples have seen their families grow to a combined 8 children, 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Steve and Maureen were among five neighbours to bag £200,000 each after RG28 7DB scooped our weekly Millionaire Street prize.
Beautiful Christmas Present
Steve, who worked as a firefighter for over 40 years before retiring in 2015, said, "What a beautiful Christmas present! It's a dream come true. You hear of places that win but you never think it'll ever be you."
Next door, Maureen had lots to celebrate as she won £200,000 on her birthday.
She said, "I didn't expect this in a million years. We've got lots to celebrate and Christmas is looking pretty good too. It's marvellous that Steve has won as well. I'm so pleased."
An Electric Windfall
And great-grandad Steve said the win has come at a great time because his car is on its last legs.
Steve said, "The clutch is just about coming out on it, and it's done way over its miles. I've been looking at an electric car for a change, so I can buy one now."
Steve served as a Watch Manager for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, based out of Whitchurch Fire Station.
He was involved in some of the biggest incidents in the area over the last four decades, including the Mercantile Credit fire of 1991 when a blaze took hold of a 17-storey building in Basingstoke.
Steve and Brenda, who have five children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, were delighted to hear their long-time neighbours had also won.
Steve said, "We've been here since day one - 53 years - with Maureen next door and we get on well together. It's so nice that we've all won.
"They've been through all the ups and the downs with us, and we all know each other's families."
The couple already have a trip to the Isle of Wight booked in for 2024 but now hope to return to the Mediterranean.
Steve said, "We might even go back to Malta. We holidayed for years there. We love it."
Green-fingered Steve added, "I love my garden and my allotment, but I guess I could get a bigger allotment."
Maureen had even more to smile about when the Postcode Lottery knocked on her door - because it proved her hubby wrong.
Maureen said, "Reg said it was always up north that won the Postcode Lottery but look at me now."
Reg added, "I told her to quit the lottery... well I'm very happy to be wrong. I need to play it now."
But Maureen and Reg have revealed the celebrations will be continuing well into the New Year.
Maureen said, "We've got several celebrations next year. It's our diamond wedding anniversary, my daughter's pearl wedding anniversary, my great-granddaughter is turning 16 and my daughter-in-law is turning 60."
The couple plan on celebrating 60 years of marriage together by cruising in style.
Reg said, "It's been at least 10 years ago since we went on holiday to the Caribbean so it would great to go back."
Reg still works part-time gardening and is also now in the market for a new TV and a new car. He said, "Both our TV and our car are long-overdue an upgrade."
Making A Difference
Steve was delighted to hear that local charities have also benefited. He said, "I love hearing that the community has also got something from our win and the Postcode Lottery is really making a difference."
And one of those charities is Whitchurch Silk Mill, which was awarded £50,000.
The industrial heritage museum is the oldest working silk mill in the country and makes English silk fabrics using historic Victorian machinery.
Mill director Sue Tapliss said, "We urgently need help to preserve living weaving heritage. There are only four artisan silk ribbon weavers in the UK, one of whom works here.
"It's a profession that cannot be taught at college or university and craftspeople cannot afford to step away from production to train their successors.
"Funding raised by the players of People's Postcode Lottery allows us to conserve this endangered craft and educate a future generation inspiring them to preserve living weaving heritage at the Mill."
Other charities in the Whitchurch area receiving funding as a result of today's Millionaire Street prize win include:
Whitchurch Association - £40,000 Whitchurch Association runs projects to promote the town and contribute to the wellbeing of its inhabitants. This includes managing the community centre and providing a range of activities.
Whitchurch Community Swimming Pool - £20,000 Whitchurch Community Swimming Pool is a team of volunteers committed to bringing back the community swimming pool to operational status. The pool has been closed since 2019.
Cats Protection (Andover and District Branch) - £50,000 This branch is run by a small group of volunteers who work to rescue and rehome stray and unwanted cats and kittens in the area.
1st Whitchurch Scouts - £20,000 The members of Whitchurch Scouts take part in active programmes exploring the world and community around them whilst teaching them skills for life.
All funding was awarded by Postcode Society Trust (opens in a new tab).
Supporting Good Causes
Today's prize is part of a draw promoted on behalf of Postcode International Trust (opens in a new tab). Funded by our players, this Trust has a mission to support the creation of sustainable solutions that alleviate poverty, hunger and enable food security. The Trust supports charities and good causes with those purposes through grant funding. Benefiting charities include Action Against Hunger, British Red Cross and ActionAid.
It's not just People's Postcode Lottery winners who benefit though. Our amazing players have raised more than £1.2 Billion for thousands of good causes across Britain and around the world. 33% of the ticket price funds life-changing projects which make a difference to people and the planet. Find out more about the range of charities and good causes our players support.