A dance teacher has waltzed off with £235,292 despite missing a string of calls to let her know she had won the lottery. Anita Winter, 60, quickstepped home from her dance school after husband Vince phoned to say People’s Postcode Lottery was at the door.
The couple, who have been wed for 40 years, had missed messages telling them their postcode – PE7 2AS – had landed the Lottery’s £1 million Millionaire Street prize on Saturday, November 11.
PE7 2AS is in Eastrea near Whittlesey.
And after her windfall was revealed, Anita beamed: “When I opened that cheque one of the first thoughts that I had was ‘we might just nip to Melbourne’.”
Transport manager husband Vince, 63, added: “It would be nice to turn left on a plane for the first time!”
— John Elworthy (@johnelworthy) November 11, 2023
Mum-of-two Anita shared the cash with 13 neighbours in Eastrea near Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. Each ticket was worth £58,823, but Anita banked £235,292 thanks to playing with four.
Now the professionally trained ballroom and Latin American dancer, who runs the Tu Danse school in the city, is dreaming of a first-class flight to Oz to see son Jason, who is performing in Moulin Rouge! The Musical.
Anita said: “We’re at the stage now where we’ve been talking about semi-retiring and looking forward to the next stage of our lives.
“This will be a really big help towards that, to be able to start making plans for the future and to maybe help the kids along the way a little bit as well.
“Both our sons, James, and Jason are in the performing arts. James has done lots of musicals too, like Les Misérables and Jersey Boys, but he is retraining as an accountant at the moment.
“James has two sons so it will be lovely to treat them to something – they’ll have a lovely Christmas thanks to Postcode Lottery!”
The £58,823 win was bittersweet for care home worker Caroline Buist a year after the death of her husband, who had originally signed up for the Lottery.
Now grandmother Caroline, 65, is planning to help her family – in tribute to husband Paul. Caroline, who has two sons and three grandchildren, added: “I can help my family now, and that’s what my husband would have wanted.”
Nearby neighbour Melissa Setchfield told how it’s not the first time her house has bagged her a big win – because it’s also how she met husband John.
Former estate agent Melissa, 50, met John, 54, when she sold him the house in the winning postcode 27 years ago. The pair now plan to use their £58,823 winnings to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.
Melissa said: “I want a new kitchen and a holiday. I’d like to do New York and we’ll be married 25 years next year, so it’ll be nice to say to our travel agent ‘don’t worry about budget.’
“Our son Nathan, who is 22, will get a helping hand too. It’s going to help a lot of people.”
John has a simpler dream – a slap-up feast from the local takeaway.
He joked: “We might even get a Chinese – I’ll be having my usual chicken omelette, chips, sweet and sour chicken balls and spareribs.”
Royal Air Force veteran David Brightley, 58, said the win had left him feeling ‘humbled and grateful’.
The dad-of-three, who is now a local DJ and community radio host at More Muzic Radio, found out he’d won just before heading out to perform at his daughter’s school disco.
David, who celebrated with wife Beverley, 54, said: “Bev is an accountant so every penny of this is already accounted for. I’m sure I’ll be told what I’m doing with it very soon.
“Family holidays are most definitely on the cards. We have a favourite resort in Madeira, and I think a couple of weeks of all expenses luxury is definitely in order.”
He added: “I’m genuinely humbled and grateful.”
The pair, who were childhood sweethearts but split up when they were 16, reconnected on Facebook after nearly three decades apart.
David said: “We got back in contact through social media and then met up. I married her 11 years ago and we’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with a 10-year-old daughter. I’ve got two grown up children who live in Scotland too.
“This is something you never envisage happening to you. I’m delighted for everyone.”
Lorry driver Tony Harrison, 62, admitted he thought the windfall was a hoax at first.
He said: “I actually ignored the phone call. And then when I got a voicemail, I just couldn’t believe it.”
The win was described as ‘life-changing’ by Tony and wife Karen, 62, who has been on the waiting list for a hip operation for two years.
Local government worker Karen said: “It’s life changing, especially for me.”
A trip of a lifetime is now also on the cards for the pair.
Karen said: “We would both love to go to Canada, it’s somewhere we’ve always wanted to go and travel around.”
Tony added: “Hire an RV and off we go! I still can’t believe this is real.”
Other winners included Sarah Newsome, 54 – who is unable to work following a stroke – who says ‘Christmas will be really good this year’ for her three children and one granddaughter thanks to the windfall.
While retied sales manager Robin Wade, 69, is planning a Greek cruise with his winnings.
The neighbours’ wins have also boosted charities in the area.
A combined total of £1 million is being shared between local charities in the winning Millionaire Street areas as part of November’s Postcode Lottery draws.
SERV Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, also known as the “Blood runners”, provides a free local medical transport service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and was awarded £30,000 by the Postcode Places Trust.
And boss Cindy Dickerson has revealed it will help them expand their operation.
The volunteer-led service delivers vital medical support by delivering blood, blood products, medical samples, medicine, medical equipment, and donated human milk, to NHS hospitals, Air Ambulance Services, Hospices, Human Donor Milk Banks, and vulnerable patients.
With a team of 160 volunteers that received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019, SERV always has at least seven “Blood Runners” on call.
The team have completed a staggering 16,000 assignments to date, covering 14,000 miles in October alone. The charity, which was founded in 2011, relies solely on donations to sustain its life-saving services.
Cindy Dickerson, Trustee and Chairman of SERV Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, said: “It’s overwhelming to be receiving this funding thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery. It means a lot for our volunteers’ efforts to be recognised, and it will also help us with essential training, equipment and running costs which are around £40,000 annually.
“This has given us an invaluable opportunity to expand our operations and replace one of our vehicles so we can continue to support NHS organisations, emergency air ambulances, new mothers, vulnerable babies and cancer patients in our region.”
RSPCA Leicestershire, Peterborough & Rutland Branch – £50,000
RSPCA are committed to helping to end cruelty towards animals. This branch works at a local level, helping to improve animal welfare in the area. It’s run by a committee of local volunteers elected to look after administration and management of the branch.
No Gain, No Pain UK (NGNPUK) – £5,000
This charity fundraise for syringe drivers, which are portable devices that administer pain relief in palliative care, for local communities. These devices help patients stay comfortable in their own homes, surrounded by loved ones. New syringe drivers are donated to the local district nursing teams for use in the community.
All funding was awarded by Postcode Places Trust.
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