Hospice lottery member scoops biggest rollover in charity’s history!
A member of the St Catherine’s lottery has scooped the biggest rollover prize in the hospice’s history – taking home winnings of £4,050!
Derek Birchall from Chorley won the third prize which had been accumulating over six months.
The prize is more than double the weekly jackpot prize of £2,000 and is the biggest rollover to have been won in the hospice lottery’s 22 year history.
All of the other 34 cash prizes are guaranteed to be won each week, but the £150 third prize is left to ‘roll over’ if a winning number is not generated by the computer system – which is how Derek’s windfall added up.
And it was a case of beginner’s luck – since he and wife Celia only signed up to become members in February, when they met the charity’s lottery canvassers at the Matalan store in Bamber Bridge.
Derek explained: “We support quite a few good causes already and we’d actually come out of the store saying that we’d think about whether to become lottery members.
“But on the way to the car I said to Celia ‘we should do it’ and so we turned round and signed up there and then. Just a few months later I got the call to say we’d won this fantastic prize – it was such a surprise!”
Celia added: “We know lots of family, friends, colleagues and neighbours who have been touched by cancer so the work that St Catherine’s does felt all the more important. After a moment’s hesitation, we knew it was the right thing to do to get on board.”
In becoming lottery members, the Birchalls have also helped St Catherine’s along the way to achieving their lottery target in the 30th anniversary Give A Gift campaign. The appeal highlights 30 different ways individuals, schools and businesses can show their support – with one of the ‘gifts’ on the list asking for 300 new lottery members in 2015.
Derek, aged 67, said the prize money would be spent treating their four children and their partners, plus their three grandchildren.
They are also set to have some extra spending money for a family holiday to Centre Parcs in Nottinghamshire, and are looking forward to taking a trip together somewhere later in the year.
Derek, a retired head-teacher at St Joseph’s RC Primary in Anderton, said: “I’d encourage others to sign up and show their support for St Catherine’s – it’s a wonderful local charity which provides comfort and care to people facing extremely difficult and stressful times. We wanted to make a contribution towards that good work and to have won this prize on top is fantastic.”
Sheila Kennard, head of lottery and promotions at St Catherine’s Hospice, thanked the Birchalls for their support – and encouraged the community to join them in helping the hospice hit their Give A Gift appeal target of 300 new members.
She said: “The lottery is a very important source of revenue for St Catherine’s because it’s income we know we can rely on each week. In the often unpredictable world of fundraising, this is a great asset in helping the charity budget and plan for the future.
“We’re delighted our biggest ever rollover prize has gone to such a lovely couple and we hope they enjoy treating their family and themselves with the winnings! Becoming a member is just £1 a week, with all the profits going towards providing the hospice’s specialised care. And who knows? It could be you who wins the next big prize!”
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