DOZENS of residents in a close-knit community are celebrating after winning a share of a £2m lottery jackpot.
Lucky punters from Easington Colliery, Easington Village and Little Thorpe cracked open the fizz as they packed into Shotton Hall, in Peterlee, on Saturday to find out how much they had won in the People’s Postcode Lottery.
A staggering 55 winners from the SR8 3 postcode area pocketed amounts ranging between £2,755 and £82,650, with one lucky lottery player from SR8 3UU, in Little Thorpe, scooping the main £400,000 prize.
Mari and Robert Place picked up the £400,000 cheque on behalf of their son, who did not wish to be named.
Mari said: “My son said if he got £1,000 he would be over the moon, but this is fantastic.”
There were tears and cheers as the lucky winners were called to the stage and told how much they had won.
One of the big money winners was 89-year-old Stanley Golightly, from Easington Colliery, who scooped £82,650.
Stanley, who worked down Easington pit for 45 years, summed up his surprise when he accepted his cheque from Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt by saying: “Hallelujah!”
Stanley, who was with his sister Betty Townsend, 87, from Peterlee, at the event, told the Mail afterwards he felt “champion” and when asked what he would spend the money on he said: “Good question, I’ve no idea.”
The pensioner said he had been playing the Postcode Lottery since it started in 2005, but added: “I have all I need at home.”
John Rand, a 55-year-old driver for the Easington and Peterlee branches of Boots, was lucky twice, having scooped £27,550 as well as a new BMW 1 Series.
John, who is married to Marlene, 56, also a Boots worker, and lives in Tennyson Road, Easington Colliery, said: “What a bonus, I can’t believe it.”
John, who already drives a Mazda MX5, said the new car would come in handy as it would be more suitable to accommodate his first grandchild, who is due in January.
John, dad to Hayley Usher, 32, and Steven Usher, 29, and Anthony Rand, 22, said Anthony also has his eye on the new motor, while his wife “may have plans” for his cash prize.
So far, The People’s Postcode Lottery has raised £32.2m for worthy causes.