Three neighbours in Swindon have lots to celebrate after scooping an incredible £353,547 each in April's Postcode Millions.
SN5 8 was the winning postcode sector in this month's Postcode Millions prize draw. All the People's Postcode Lottery players in that lucky sector won a share of the £3 Million prize pot. However, three Wallingford Close neighbours landed the biggest cheques when SN5 8BS was announced as the full winning postcode.
Winners were due to find out how much they'd won at a special event in Lydiard Park on Saturday. Unfortunately, high winds being forecast meant the Millions party had to be cancelled.
Ticket To Ride
Local bus driver Ian was one of the lucky SN5 8BS residents. Ian had just clocked off from a ten-hour shift when he arrived home to find the People's Postcode Lottery team waiting outside his front door. When he pulled his cheque out of the golden envelope he said, "The first thing I'm going to do is book a first-class ticket to Australia to visit my daughter Nicole and my two-year-old granddaughter Violet.
"Nicole moved there six years ago and I've been over a few times and I can never see both enough. Travelling first class will be a real treat – it's something I never thought would be possible. Winning this money won't change me - I'll get a few bits round the house fixed but I'll still be back driving my bus on Monday."
Taking Care Of The Future
Housewife and mother-of-two Catherine was with Neil, her husband of 42 years, and son Mark when she learned she'd scooped the six-figure sum. Catherine said, "I'm gobsmacked and can't stop shaking. I never expected anything like this. It feels so liberating because we won't have to worry about scrimping and saving any more.
"Mark was born prematurely and has autism, epilepsy and ADHD so winning this amount of money means we'll be able to make sure that both him and his sister Laura, who works as a mobile carer and regularly looks after Mark, will be taken care of for the future. We were planning a week-long holiday in the caravan, but I think we'll be able to do a bit more than that now!"
Neil, who works long hours as a lorry driver, explained that the money will allow him to retire. He said, "I try to volunteer as much as I can with Disability Sport Swindon, a local charity that has really supported Mark and allowed him to participate in sports like wall climbing, but it's difficult to juggle that with work. Now I'll be able to dedicate more of my time to that, as well as helping to care for Mark."
Dream Come True
Pharmacy technician Theresa works in a local private hospital. Theresa and her husband Dick, a retail worker, were only expecting a small win, not a six-figure cheque worth £353,547. The couple, who have two sons and a daughter, are celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary later this year. They plan to spend their winnings on lots of travel and home improvements.
Theresa said, "We'd planned to save up to visit places like Egypt and China, and I have family in Canada that I'd like my children to meet, so now we'll be able to fit in a couple of trips with them."
Dick said, "My daughter would love to go to Spain too. Our eldest son goes to university this year and this would be a good chance to have a proper family holiday before he's too old to enjoy it."
The couple have lived on Wallingford Close for almost six years. Theresa added, "This is our family home and where we'll be until we're a lot older. Winning People's Postcode Lottery is going to help us get our home just the way we want it. We've always dreamed of being lottery winners and now we are!"
With the remaining 594 players in the SN5 8 sector sharing the rest of the money, their prizes varied from £2,920 all the way up to £11,680 depending on the number of tickets they played with.
People's Postcode Lottery Ambassadors Danyl Johnson and Matt Johnson were all set to present the winners with their prizes at Lydiard Park until Storm Hannah put paid to the plan.
Danyl said, "Myself, Matt and the People's Postcode Lottery team were really looking forward to meeting all our lovely winners in Swindon but unfortunately the weather had other ideas. I'm sure everyone will still have a great weekend celebrating their windfall in April's Postcode Millions despite the wind and rain!"
Charities Win Too
With a minimum of 32% of every ticket going to charity, players have raised over £416 Million for thousands of charities and good causes to date.
April's Postcode Millions draw was held on behalf of Postcode African Trust which supports organisations working in Africa to alleviate poverty, strengthen communities and protect the environment. Mary's Meals, which has received over £1.7 Million in funding from the trust, works in 18 countries and provides a nutritious meal every day to chronically hungry children in a place of education.
There are also countless charities carrying out vital work in Swindon that players have helped to support. One example of such an organisation is the Royal Voluntary Service, which mobilises volunteers to support people in need, and has received over £8 Million in funding. Lisa Knight, Community Development & Operations Manager at Royal Voluntary Service, said, "Congratulations to all the People's Postcode Lottery winners in Swindon! Thanks to support from players, Royal Voluntary Service was last year able to support over 15,000 older people not only in Swindon but across Great Britain, by providing practical support and companionship at home and places to go in the community which help prevent loneliness and social isolation.
"In Swindon, our volunteers run social activities for older people, support them to stay connected to their communities and help people who are recovering from a stay in hospital. By playing, you are helping to raise vital funds for our work."
You can check out more photos of our lucky Swindon winners in our April Postcode Millions Facebook Album.
The weekend also provided celebrations in other lucky postcodes. Five neighbours were smiling after winning Saturday's Street Prize, whilst Sunday's Street Prize brought £30,000 windfalls for 13 players.