Neighbours living in Albany Village Centre in Washington are celebrating, after discovering they've won almost half a million pounds between them at a party held in the north east town.
NE37 1UB was announced as the full winning postcode at the Magical Postcode Million event, hosted in Washington.
41 year old mum of 2 Linda Atchison scooped £166,666 after spending just £10 on Postcode Lottery tickets. The Northumbria University student began playing after a friend won a £30,000 prize. The soon-to-be teacher was overwhelmed with her luck, explaining “My husband Dave’s just qualified as a driving instructor – now he’ll be able to fulfil his dream and set up his own business with no financial worries. My student debt can be paid off too – it’s incredible, our life will totally change!”
Linda was joined by sons Alex, 10, and Adam, 8. “I’ve always said one day we’d take them to Disneyland Florida , so I’ll be staying true to my word.”
Neighbour and 64 year old wagon driver John Stephenson has his retirement guaranteed, having also netted £166,666. John, who turns 65 on Christmas Eve, is looking forward to putting his feet up and said “The cash couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The shocked grandfather of 10 said “I can’t believe it, especially as retirement’s just round the corner. Family comes first for us, so we won’t be doing anything until we’ve taken care of them. I have four children, 10 grandchildren, 1 great-grandson and another on the way! What with our 39th wedding anniversary round the corner, we have so many reasons to celebrate!”
John’s wife Wendy explained “Work has been scarce recently and it’s been a tough year for us. We’re so delighted. I’ll be getting the drinks in tonight!”
A third anonymous winner has also won £166,666.
As well as the players living in the full winning postcode, a massive 75 players from the winning sector postcode, NE37 1, also scooped their share of the £1 Million prizepot, with prizes ranging from £620 to £15,500.
In a final surprise of the day, sector prize winner Marilyn Cook was brought back onto the stage to be presented with the keys to a shiny new car. Marilyn, who earlier in the day won a cheque for £13,640, was announced as the lucky winner of the BMW 1 Series prize draw.
And if all that celebration wasn’t enough, X Factor 2009 finalist Danyl Johnson wowed the Washington crowds. Danyl said, “I had so much fun performing at the Postcode Million party. Congratulations to all of the winners, and in particular, those who live in the full winning postcode. I hope you enjoy spending your winnings!”
People's Postcode Lottery has raised more than £15.4 Million for charities across the country. Children North East, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, Missing People and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust were at the party to thank the players for their continued support.
Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres have been awarded more than £2.1 Million from People's Postcode Lottery. As with all funding, the money is unrestricted, allowing Maggie's to spend it where they feel needs it most.
Denise Heron, Maggie’s Community Fundraiser in Newcastle said: “Maggie's help people to find the clarity and calmness needed to cope with the isolation of cancer through a bespoke and specialised programme of support. We are so close to bringing such vital support to the region of the North East, as we near our fundraising target, which is required to start building the centre. Every penny and pound at this stage counts as we come close to realising our vision.
“By playing the People’s Postcode Lottery, people are not only entering themselves into the chance of winning a huge windfall of money, like today's lucky winners, but they are also directly helping raise funds for their local Maggie's. Congratulations to all the winners today – your support will help us to build Maggie’s North East.”
Sign up now for your chance to win while helping good causes in your area.