In Conon Bridge, local residents got their hands on £2 Million in the December Millions. But it's three lucky residents from Wyvis Crescent, from IV7 8BZ, that will be counting the biggest prizes, after scooping a total of £1 Million.
Sharon Oliphant, Valerie Durdle and one other anonymous winner picked up the life-changing cheques at a party held at local pub and restaurant, The Conon Bridge Hotel. With over 200 local neighbours there to celebrate, the big winners won cheques to the value of £400,000 and £200,000.
Sharon Oliphant, an accounts assistant at Cairngorms Windows, was one of the neighbours to pick up a fantastic £400,000. Playing with two tickets, 50-year-old Sharon and her husband, Derek, 51, couldn't believe their eyes when the full winning postcode was revealed.
“I've no idea what to spend it on,” said Sharon. “We need to have a good think about it, but we would love to treat the family. Derek and I both come from big families so it would be amazing to bring them all together and have a big party.
“This really will change our lives. This is the sort of thing you see on the TV or in films, you just don't think it will happen in real life do you? It just means we'll have no worries, no stresses – it's the best way to start 2013. Fantastic!”
The party will certainly carry on into the New Year for the Oliphants, who also have relatives up for the Hogmanay celebrations. Sharon's brother, Kevin and his wife, Trisha, as well as their two girls, will be celebrating the start of 2013 in style now.
It was then the turn of neighbour, Val Durdle, to discover how much she had scooped. Playing with just one ticket, the semi-retired secretary from Easter Ross Community Mental Health won a staggering £200,000. But this didn't entirely come as a surprise.
Speaking about her win, Val said: “I had a gut feeling I was going to win. The moment I got the phone call telling us about the party I just knew. I've been sick with nerves this morning and all over Christmas. I just had this feeling – and it came true.
“We really need to get our double glazing replaced – and it certainly won't be a problem now. We would also like to go on a really special holiday, something really great. It just hasn't settled in yet, we're on cloud nine.”
Daughter Nicky, and son-in-law, David, were there to help Val celebrate her fantastic win. While they were there, the pair, who also play People's Postcode Lottery, picked up a winning cheque to the value of £3,900. They were joined by a total of 208 postcode winners from the IV7 8 area, who scooped cheques ranging from £3,700 to £19,500.
The two players were completely overwhelmed at hearing their postcode being announced. ‘Stunned’ and ‘elated’, it wasn't until they arrived at the event that they even knew each other played. And they certainly didn't think they would be joining their neighbour in Wyvis Crescent with almost £1 Million in their pockets.
The final winner, who has asked to remain anonymous, scooped the remaining £400,000, bringing the total winnings for Wyvis Crescent to a fantastic £1 Million. And despite wanting to stay out of the limelight, the winner has vowed to use their £400,000 winnings to set up a bursary for underprivileged youngsters.
In a final surprise of the day, sector prize winner Rosemary Urquhart, who earlier won £3,900, was brought back onto the stage to be presented with the keys to a brand new BMW 1 Series.