This weekend, three sets of lucky players have won a variety of great prizes, including the £2 Million January Postcode Millions.
There were tears of joy and cheers of triumph at the first Postcode Millions event of 2015 in Whitley Bay on Saturday 31st January. Two players were over the moon to discover that they had won £400,000 each, while another player was just as excited to have won £200,000. Their postcode, NE25 9BB, was revealed as the full winning postcode at the event.
Margery Eccleston, 76, couldn't believe it when she was presented with her £400,000 cheque. "I'm blown away," she exclaimed.
Margery, who plays with two tickets, was joined by her husband Nigel at the event. "I love that I've won with my neighbours, although I didn't know them until today," she said. "My daughter Kaylatz owns the Seacrest Hotel in Whitley Bay, so I'll make sure I'll invite all the winners for a celebratory party soon."
Although overwhelmed with her win, Margery and Nigel are keen to go on a cruise with the money. "We're skint after Christmas, so this has come at a great time," she said. "Between us, we have seven children, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, so there are plenty of people to spoil."
Kim Lazenby, 59, was equally shocked to be presented with his £400,000 cheque. "It's like a dream," he said. "It's phenomenal."
Kim, who also plays with two tickets, was joined by his partner Jean. He has a good idea on what to spend his winnings on. "I work as a social worker, but I would love to cut back on my hours and concentrate on my art," he said. "This money will allow me to do that, and I'd also love to take a trip to visit my son Cameron in Australia and go out with my other son Ryan to New Zealand, where he lives. The sky is the limit for us."
Michael Parry, 41, couldn't believe he won £200,000 after only signing up as a player in December last year. "It's beginner's luck," he said. Michael's brother David was also a winner on the day and walked away with £5,291. "I feel a bit inferior standing next to him with a smaller cheque," laughed David. "But it is fantastic."
Along with David and his other two brothers, Richard and Steven, Michael is a keen motorcyclist and plans to spend his winnings on a new bike. "I signed up to support charities and am shocked that I've won so quickly," he said. "As well as a new motorbike, I'd like to do more travelling and see a bit more of the world."
The 170 winners who attended the celebration at The Village Urban Resort walked away with cheques ranging from £5,291 to £400,000. A number of supported charities were inattendance, including Children North East, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Riding for the Disabled Association and Depaul UK.
Postcode Millions presenter and former TFM Radio presenter Judie McCourt said, "I'm thrilled that the first Postcode Millions event of 2015 is in the North East – my neck of the woods. I've met some fantastic winners today, and they've all had a great time finding out how much they've won, meeting local charities they support and celebrating together."
Our second winner of the week is from Treherbert, where his postcode, CF42 5NS, was drawn as a winnerin this week's Saturday Street Prize.
Mark Bevan-Taylor, 48, couldn't believe it when rugby legend and People's Postcode Lottery ambassador Scott Quinnell arrived to present him with his cheque. "I could see Scott outside my door and was shocked to see how much I'd won," said Mark.
Mark and his partner Luke would like to use their winnings to help with their foster application. "Our daughter has just left to join the army, so it's the perfect time to foster," said Mark. "We live in a large house, so we can accommodate more than one child but it needs a lot of renovation. We were hoping to foster one child, but now that we can afford to renovate more rooms, we're hoping to foster some siblings."
As well as renovating their home, Mark and Luke plan to treat their daughter for her 18th birthday and will be celebrating once the news has properly sunk in.
Luckily, Mark was still a player as he had been considering cancelling. "I normally review my finances in January but hadn't got round to it as I'd been ill," he said. "I may have decided to cancel my ticket but I won't be doing that any time soon. I love that our postcode is our ticket and we didn't have to choose numbers."
Scott Quinnell said, "I really enjoyed meeting Mark and presenting him with his cheque. It sounds like him and his partner have some really lovely plans with their winnings, and I wish them luck with their fostering plans."
Our final winner this week is from Manchester, where their postcode, M23 0FR, was drawn in our second £25,000 Saturday Street Prize of the week.
The player was unavailable when the team from People’s Postcode Lottery arrived to present the cheque, but the winnings will go straight into their bank account.
Players have raised over £58.6 Million for charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally. One charity local to Street Prize winner Mark, Arts Factory, was awarded £1,750 to develop their Fun Factory, a volunteer-led stay and play group for pre-school children and their parents and carers.