People's Postcode Lottery: Sussex neighbours share £16.9million prize

Christmas has come early for hundreds of people in Sussex who have won a multi-million-pound lottery prize.

The BN12 4 postcode area was announced as the winner of a £16.9million People’s Postcode Lottery prize tonight (Friday, December 16). With 718 people picking up a cheque, it meant about one in ten residents of Goring-by-Sea, Worthing, won.

Twelve neighbours in the full winning postcode – BN12 4TR, Ardingly Drive – won £379,062 for every ticket played with. Jason Donovan, a People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador, surprised some winners on their doorstep with the good news.

The £379,062 winners include: Nicki Wiltshire, a 53-year-old Jason Donovan fan whose partner was recently made redundant, Lily Poland, a 75-year-old grandmother, and Wendy Vanderhoven, a 59-year-old who said her ‘wildest dreams have come true’.

Nicki was in disbelief when Jason Donovan knocked on her door to present her with a six-figure sum. She said: “I’ve seen you on the stage in Brighton, I’ve seen you on the stage in London and now you’re here on my driveway! My heart is pounding. I just can’t put into words what this means. It means the world. I’ve had such a rubbish year. My partner Joe lost his job so things have been tough. I can help so many people now!”

Lily was joined by her daughter Michelle when she found out she had won. The grandmother is originally from a village in Scotland and said she was in shock. “I came down here when I was 19 for an adventure. I ended up staying when I fell in love with Peter, my husband,” she said. “We’ve been at this postcode for over 40 years and brought our family up here – it’s been a good postcode with lots of memories!”

Wendy was joined by husband Mark when she got the good news. She said: “Never in a million years did I think Jason Donovan would be knocking at my door with a huge cheque. It’s a lovely Christmas present.”

She is now planning to celebrate her 60th birthday next year in style. She said: “I’d love to go on a cruise to Turkey, Greece and the Mediterranean.”

Keen caravaners Wendy and Mark said the six-figure win will mean they can travel more. Mark said: “We can upgrade the caravan for a motorhome and help our son out with a deposit for a house. Playing has definitely paid off!”

Others getting cheques for £379,062 included disability healthcare worker Sally Wells, grandad-of-four Ian Branch and retired Keith Coomber.

Sally said: “I know how much of a difference this is going to make not just to me and my family, but to our neighbours and friends.” And Keith said: “I feel incredibly lucky but this money won’t change me… I’ll still be tight fisted!”

The other people who won £379,062 per ticket chose to remain anonymous.

Other winners in the postcode area included 50-year-old single mum Stacey Rivers, whose son has leukaemia. Stacey won £14,816 and plans to use the money to go on the trip of a lifetime. She said: “I’ve got seven-year-old twin sons, Phoenix and Elliot. Phoenix has leukaemia. He’s got a year and a half of treatment and then I’ve promised them both we’ll go on a huge trip of a lifetime. This is going to help a lot. I think it might end up being an American road trip, visiting NASA and then ending up in Disney World in Florida.”

Prize amounts for the other people across the winning postcode area ranged from £14,816 to £44,448 depending on the number of tickets played with.

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Jason Donovan said: “It was fantastic surprising so many lucky winners by arriving on their doorstep and presenting them with a golden envelope and a huge cheque! The atmosphere was electric and I loved hearing everyone’s plans for their winnings. Christmas has definitely come early to Goring-by-Sea!”