A community from Billingham enjoyed a bonanza weekend after sharing a £3 Million prize pot in May's Postcode Millions. Players were presented with whopping cheques at a winners' celebration held on Saturday at the Grand Marquee at Wynyard Hall, Stockton-on-Tees.
Nine winners discovered that they played with full winning postcode TS22 5JA. These lucky players walked away with the lion's share of the massive prize fund. 463 residents across the winning postcode sector shared £3 Million, with prizes ranging from £2,976 up to a fabulous £300,000.
Dawn Leighton, 54, a pharmacy dispenser, was absolutely stunned to discover what she had won. Dawn scooped a remarkable £300,000, thanks to playing with two tickets. She was joined at the event by her husband of 28 years, Keith.
The loved-up pair have got grand plans for their win, "When we got married we didn't have a honeymoon and spent our wedding night in Pizza Hut in Scarborough and then went home to watch Blind Date on TV. Now we can have a proper dream honeymoon and jet off somewhere really glamorous," said Dawn.
Dawn and Keith, who have six children and ten grandchildren, are looking forward to spoiling their family, "I'm planning to treat all my children and grandchildren, that's my first priority," said Dawn. Dawn and Keith also plan to celebrate their win with a trip to the local bingo and have their fingers crossed that their luck may be in again!
Angela Driver, 65, a retired banker, said the win couldn't have come at a better time as she's off on holiday to Cyprus in the next few weeks: "When I got told I'd won something, I said if it was £500 I'd be delighted, so when Judie pulled that cheque out for £150,000 I just couldn't believe my eyes!
"I was watching the full winning postcode being revealed and as those letters were turning round and it landed on mine, I just screamed! I'll be telling all my neighbours: if you're not playing, get signed up today! What made it even better was winning with all my lovely neighbours. People just like me, all here today winning together - it's amazing!"
Harold Ayre, 73, a retired tanker driver, also won £150,000. Harold said it felt amazing when he found out how much he'd won. "I came here today expecting to win £500 so to win this is absolutely phenomenal."
Harold was joined at the event by his partner Jennie, who yesterday had a premonition that their postcode would come up. They plan to spend the money on a holiday, a new kitchen, a new car and will also give some to their two grandchildren.
Jean Campion, Valerie Best, Irene King and Marion Phillips also all won £150,000 each thanks to their lucky postcode and joined their neighbours at the celebration. Two more lucky winners, who also won £150,000 each, couldn't attend the party. They will receive their prize money straight into their bank accounts.
People's Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt was excited to be handing out cheques. "It's been a fantastic day here in Billingham; it's always an amazing feeling for me to be home in the North East handing out lots of cheques. Congratulations to all the winners!"
It's not just players who win by playing People's Postcode Lottery. Over £197 Million has been awarded to charities and good causes to date. The winners' celebration saw a number of supported charities in attendance including Daisy Chain, Children North East and Girlguiding.
National charity Youth Music thanked the winners personally for their continued support. The charity invests in 350 music projects across the country, including Teeside music programmes in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees.
Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music said: "I congratulate all of today's winners and thank them for their support. Players may not realise that by playing People's Postcode Lottery, they are supporting vulnerable children across Teeside and beyond. Working through music, our local projects are helping young people to develop personal and social skills, re-connect with their education and discover talents in themselves that may become the basis for their future careers. We're incredibly grateful to players for their contribution to this work."
This weekend, we also had a £30,000 win in West Bromich, and a lucky Ongar player picked up our Sunday Street Prize.