Lottery winners recall how they got the news as The Health Lottery turns 10

Sarah Fry, 49, was in complete shock when she got the call from The Health Lottery to tell her she was a winner.

“I couldn’t quite believe it at first!” she says “I don’t tend to have much luck with winning anything. I was actually on my lunch break at work, so I shared the news straight away with all my colleagues!”

Sarah is one of 16 million people who have received that exciting news telling them they're a winner, since The Health Lottery launched 10 years ago, giving away £158 million in prizes in that time.

And the timing was perfect for the mother and grandmother from Oldham. Sarah turns 50 soon, and the £10,000 windfall means she can really celebrate her half-century milestone in style.

With partner Darren also reaching that golden birthday this year, Sarah plans to invest her winnings in a top-notch sunny holiday.

“This will be my first long-haul holiday,” says Sarah. “It couldn’t have come at a better time for us! My partner and I both turn the big 5-0 this year, and we’re treating ourselves with a holiday of a lifetime to Mexico. We will certainly be enjoying a margarita or two on The Health Lottery.”

And it's not just the winners that benefit, as money raised through The Health Lottery helps fund vital local community projects.

£121 million has been raised so far, for over 3200 grassroots projects throughout Great Britain, supporting issues such as dementia, loneliness, learning difficulties and mental health.

This is one of the reasons Sarah plays The Health Lottery online. “I have been playing The Health Lottery once a week since 2017, picking two lines,” she explains.

"My nan had Alzheimer’s, so it is really important for me to support these projects. They are empowering the most vulnerable communities and tackling health inequalities around Great Britain. It is fantastic that I can give back a little to these wonderful projects by simply buying a ticket.”

"I asked my wife to check all the numbers!"

For Nuneaton Rugby Club player, Allan Taylor, finding out he'd scooped £10,000 in last year's New Year’s Day draw was a great way to kick of 2020.

“You never think it is going to be you,” said father-of-three Allan, 50. “I couldn’t believe it was true! I asked my wife and girls to all check my numbers. We wanted to make sure it was the real deal before we could properly celebrate! They were ecstatic about the news. It has allowed us to get that long weekend in Dublin that we have always wanted. I really fancy going on the Guinness factory tour and learning a little more about my favourite stout.”

One of the reasons Allan plays is because it allows him to give something back.

"Playing The Health Lottery supports so many great causes. We are a family that has received some great support over the years from local causes. It is wonderful that we can give back to these grassroots projects simply by buying a Health Lottery ticket.”

"The size of the prize hasn't sunk in yet!"

When Sue from Chesterfield got a phone call from The Health Lottery asking her to check her online Health Lottery account – something Sue hadn’t done in a while – what she saw changed her life. She had won £100,000 in a second chance draw.

“To be honest, I’ve been thinking about what I need,” said Sue, when asked what she'll spend the money on. "I barely spend money on myself normally so this is a chance to fix up some things that need done. The garden. The house. Things like that. The size of the prize hasn’t sunk in yet so who knows what will be left. Maybe enough for a car? A holiday? It’s exciting to think about.”

The former community worker says that playing The Health Lottery is a continuation of her work to support others. She said:

“I’ve always been keen on helping people. I’ve been brought up that way. So I’d happily spend £1 on a Health Lottery ticket because I know that it genuinely helps people. I’ve seen some of the good causes that are supported.

"Obviously I play the lottery for the prizes, as we all do, but the sense of supporting your community really sweetens the win.”

"It’s been a great moment to share"

In August 2019, the News UK finance team syndicate scooped a fantastic £10,000 after matching 4 balls, plus the bonus ball.

Formed of eight players, the Peterborough-based team have been playing The Health Lottery for three years now – and were delighted to bag their first big win.

Syndicate leader Gary Smithdale said: “When I answered the call, the news came as a great surprise – I couldn’t wait to tell everyone! Some of us have worked together for over 22 years, so it’s been a great moment to share.”

Their big win even inspired a new team name. “What about Sunshine 8?” mused team member Margaret Lenton. “The sun’s shining on this lucky day, and there’s eight of us!”

"It is very important to support the local charities that benefit from Health Lottery sales"

Kathy Brown, a Buckinghamshire Council Business Support Officer from Aylesbury, was delighted when she found out she had won £10,000 in The Health Lottery’s draw online.

Amazingly, this is the second time she has won a tidy sum by playing The Health Lottery, although her recent winnings dwarf the £250 won previously.

Big hearted Kathy says a big reason she plays is to support local causes and community projects:

“In this day and age I think it is very important to support The Health Lottery and all the charities that are supported.”

While she plans on enjoying spending much of her winnings herself, she said she will make sure her daughters benefit too, selflessly spreading the joy to her family.

There are five main draws every week (Tue-Sat) each with a jackpot of £25,000. Every line for any Wednesday or Saturday main lottery draw will automatically be entered into a £100,000 free prize draw which also takes place on those two days each week. Could you be next?

  • Register here and deposit £5 to get a free ticket online for The Health Lottery!

  • 18+ BeGambleAware T&C’s apply

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