A new car and a cruise are on the minds of two players in West Hallam this week after their postcode, DE7 6PE, was drawn as a winner in the Saturday Street Prize.
Richard Toplis, 48, was at home with his wife Sue when he was surprised by People's Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt, who presented him with his £25,000 cheque."We're both in shock," he said. "It's such great news!"
After winning £25,000, it seems that 25 is a lucky number for Richard and Sue. "It's amazing that it's 25, because we've lived at this postcode for 25 years, and this year is our 25th wedding anniversary," he said. "It's like we've been gifted £1,000 for each year we've been married. Sue actually found a four-leaf clover last week – it must have been a good omen."
The win has come at a very good time for Richard and his family, who have some initial plans for the money. "We've booked a Baltic cruise for our anniversary, and this will help pay for it," he said. "The money will also just take the pressure off a little bit. I've been helping to pay for my daughter Hannah's university fees and had to take a second part-time job to help. My son James is just about to start an apprenticeship to become a barber, so it will help him on his journey too."
Richard, who works as a printer, has been playing People's Postcode Lottery since March last year and decided to sign up on the advice of his daughter. "Hannah was living in Chester for university and signed up with her postcode there," he said. "She won a couple of small amounts and told me to sign up so I did. She's gutted she didn't sign up to play with our postcode."
Richard's friend and neighbour Julie Brown was also a lucky winner and was equally shocked to win £25,000. "It's fantastic," she said. "People like us don't win things like this, but it was so lovely to win with our friends."
Julie, 45, was at home with her husband Ian when she was presented with her cheque. She already knows how she will be spending the money. "Ian and I have always wanted an MX-5 sports car, and we finally ordered one last week," she said. "We would have had to pay this up, but I can pay it outright now."
After handing over the cheque, Judie McCourt said, "It was lovely to meet Richard and Julie today and fantastic that they are friends. The great thing about winning with People's Postcode Lottery is that you can win with your neighbours, and I'm glad that Richard and Julie can celebrate together."
Players have raised over £72.2 Million for charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally. One charity near our West Hallam winners to receive funding is Cerebral Palsy Sport, which was awarded almost £2,000 for their Table Cricket Winter Coaching Programme. Cerebral Palsy Sport is a nationally-recognised sports charity dedicated to giving people with physical disabilities a sporting chance.