St Helens residents are celebrating receiving life-changing sums of money after part of the town scooped a £3m jackpot in the People's Postcode Lottery.
A total of 897 people joined in the delight after WA11 7 was revealed as the winning location in the Postcode Millions draw on Saturday.
For some in WA11 7LP, though, the celebrations were on another scale as they took home hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The biggest winner was Pat Rowland, who bought two tickets and netted a massive £333,332.
And seven other neighbours took home £166,666 each.
Unsurprisingly, that meant the rain on Saturday did little to dampen the spirits when lottery ambassadors turned up to hand out the cheques.
Pat, 58, and her husband Roy initially signed up to the People's Postcode Lottery to support charities close to their hearts, who will now benefit from the huge windfall.
She said: “The fact that so many charities benefit is just amazing. Roy is an ex-serviceman, so we will be giving some of the winnings to Veterans of the Saints Community Development Foundation which supports people who have served in the armed forces.
“I also helped start up Francis House Children’s Hospice many years ago with my mum, so I’m going to give a donation in my mum’s name.”
Pat is also thinking about treating herself and Roy by bringing an end to her 25-year stint working at a local Asda story and relocating to one of their favourite getaway destinations.
She said: “This money really is life changing. I can finally think about retiring. We go to Wales every year so there’s a chance we can buy a place over there now, we’ve been talking about it for ages.
“We’ve been dreaming for the last week since we found out we had won and now those dreams can come true.”
NHS health care assistant Gemma Smith is one of those who won £166,666.
When her cheque was revealed she said: “Shut up! This is a crazy amount of money. I never win anything…ever!"
Gemma, 27, said: “I can finally move out and get my own place. There’s seven of us in this house just now so my sisters will be deciding who’s getting my room already. The first thing I’m going to do when I move out is party and celebrate!”
When asked what she would tell her friends about her win Gemma said: “That I’m rich!”
Retired supermarket worker Cynthia Frodsham, 71, had been hoping to win enough money to buy a new phone and some gardening equipment.
But when Postcode Lottery ambassador Danyl Johnson revealed Cynthia’s cheque, she discovered she too had picked up a six-figure sum.
Cynthia said: “I am in my seventies now and I have never had more than £2,000 in my bank account. This kind of thing never happens to people like me.
“I was away when the letter arrived and a neighbour told me I had won the Postcode Lottery. I just couldn’t believe it.
“I have only been playing for about 18 months and I have already won lots of £10 prizes.
“It’s a no brainier, you sign up once and you don’t have to go looking for tickets.
“The Postcode Lottery tell you if you’ve won. It’s just so easy and now they’re here on my doorstep!”
Liz Sheedy, 45, who works at Rainford High School, also picked up a cheque for £166,666.
She said: “We have been watching the Postcode Lottery team delivering cheques all over the estate this morning and we knew they were coming to see us.
“But we only expected to win around £500 — I was speechless when I saw the amount on the cheque, I really was.
“This will really, really, lift the spirits of the whole community.”
Liz and her husband Vic are now planning to use the win to support their community work.
Vic said: “Rainford is such a nice community. Everybody on the estate supports each other — that’s just what we do.”
The remaining 889 residents received cheques ranging from £1,525 to £9,150, which were handed out by People’s Postcode Lottery ambassadors Judie McCourt and Danyl Johnson.
Incredibly, it’s the third time the St Helens area has won the £3m prize pot, with WA9 5 winning in August 2017 and WA10 6 residents scooping the same prize in December 2018.
Judie McCourt was one of the People’s Postcode Lottery ambassadors knocking on doors and handing out cheques.
She said: “It’s been a fantastic day in St Helens today meeting our lovely winners. It may have been raining but I think our golden envelopes brought some sunshine."
With a minimum of 32 per cent of every ticket going to charity, players have raised over £474m for thousands of charities and good causes to date.
This Postcode Millions draw was held on behalf of Postcode Dream Trust, which gives organisations the chance to deliver projects they have always wanted to deliver but never had sufficient funding for.