A new-look lottery is proving to be vital source of funding for a Hartlepool charity.
Hartlepool & District Hospice’s new prize pool was first drawn in April after the number of prizes rose from six to 26 each week.
A rollover prize was also brought in, and it has all paid dividends.
Hospice lottery manager Veronica Nelson said: “It has been a really great year for the hospice lottery and its members. We have seen many more prizes being won each week and the build-up to our most recent rollover win has been very exciting.”
It only costs £1 a week to play the hospice lottery, which started in April this year. Prizes on offer since the re-launch are a jackpot of £1,000, ten prizes of £20, 15 prizes of £10 and a weekly rollover prize of £250.
The hospice provides care and support to people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
It serves the communities of Hartlepool and Durham and is the only service of its kind. Bosses have described it as “vital and unique”.
It costs £2.3m to keep the Hospice open all year, but the National Health Service only funds 89 of these days.
The remaining 276 have to be financed entirely from contributions from the local community, businesses, hospice shops and the lottery.
Hospice chiefs say it is an important part of the hospice fundraising and has generated more than £7m since it first started. Ever since, it has helped to fund its vital services.
The first rollover prize of £1,750 was won after only seven weeks. But when it started again, it rolled over for 29 weeks with a prize of £7,250 up for grabs at the beginning of December.
Finally, the big prize was won by Ian McKenzie, who said he’d played the hospice lottery for about five years.
He said he liked to back a local cause and the hospice was a worthy cause because it provides comfort and dignity to those who need it most. He said he would continue to support it.
Director of fundraising, Francis McAllister said: “The lottery is a vital source of income for the hospice so to see one of our lottery supporters winning this fantastic prize just before Christmas is brilliant.”
To join the hospice lottery, contact the Lottery Office on (01429) 855555.