Four Brentwood residents shared £1 Million at the weekend when their postcode, CM14 5EG, was revealed as the full winning postcode at the August Postcode Millions event in Essex. In total, 70 lucky local residents shared an amazing £2 Million prize pot.
Engaged couple Byron Crawford and Sonia Cunningham won a whopping £600,000 between them. Byron, who plays with one ticket, walked away with £200,000. His fiancée Sonia, who plays with two tickets, won £400,000.
“I must phone and thank my mum,” exclaimed Sonia, who works in advertising. “She signed my sister and I up to People's Postcode Lottery for my birthday last year. It's the best present I have ever received.”
Byron, who works in mental health recovery and rehabilitation, was equally delighted with the win. “It's dizzying to think how much we've won,” he said. “Everyone looks after one another on our street and they'll be just as pleased as we are with the win.”
The couple are thrilled that they will now be able to afford the wedding of their dreams next spring as well as treating their daughter for her fourth birthday. “We would really like to take our daughter to Disneyland Paris,” said Byron. “I've also always wanted to start my own business. Winning this money means those pipe dreams can become a reality.”
James Gray and Brian Williams were over the moon to discover that they had won a whopping £200,000 each. Brian, who was holding back tears, exclaimed, “This will go on the house and a new car for my wife.”
Lorry driver Brian was joined by his wife, Lisa, and has big plans for the money. “We bought a house last year,” he said. “We've been doing it up slowly but now we can afford to get someone else to come in for us and we can live in a hotel for a week!”
HR Manager James has a People's Postcode Lottery ambassador to thank for his win, “I saw Fiona Phillips on an advert and I decided to sign up there and then,” he said. “I'm renting a house at the moment so I can finally buy my own home. I'm sure I'll treat my two sons too. I've never wanted millions, I just wanted enough. And this is enough.”
There were 70 winners altogether who celebrated at an event in King George’s Playing Field, Hartswood Road in Brentwood. There were screams of delight when one winner, Joseph Manuel, drove away with a brand new BMW as well as £16,260 petrol money. “I don't believe it,” he said. “There must be another Joseph Manuel!”
Hilary Sanderson was encouraged to play by her neighbour and fellow winner, Philip Baillie. “Thanks Philip!” she exclaimed when she was presented with her £10,840 cheque. And Jason Lyon, who won £18,970, announced that he would be spending the cash on a diamond ring for his girlfriend.
This is not the first time a Postcode Millions event has landed in Essex. Last August, players in Chelmsford shared a prize of £2 Million and last year's winner, David Carter, was also on hand today to wish the players good luck. “My win last year was life-changing, I hope this year's players have the same experience.”
The event saw a number of supported charities in attendance including Missing People, Magic Breakfast, Youth Music, PDSA, War Child and WaterAid. The party gave supported charities a chance to thank winners directly for their invaluable support over the years.
Postcode Millions presenter Judie McCourt said, “Our last Postcode Millions event in this area was in Chelmsford in August 2013 so it's great to be back in Essex, the atmosphere is always great here and the winners certainly didn't disappoint today. I would just like to wish all winners massive congratulations!”