Teacher Debby Heavey is among five neighbours to have won a staggering £310,000 each – all thanks to their North Staffordshire postcode.
The 54-year-old mum, who works at Sandon Primary Academy in Meir, was left speechless when the life-changing news was broken to her via a Zoom call while on her lunch break.
Debby – and four other households in ST7 8LR in Bignall End – received a share of the People’s Postcode Lottery £3.1 million prize pot.
And a further 799 families in the ST7 8 area won prizes of between £7,004 and £1,751.
As a cheque with her winning total was revealed, Debby – who recently celebrated a wedding anniversary – screamed and said: “Goodness me! Oh no! I’m speechless.
“That is just so brilliant, I can’t believe it.”
As well as a brand-new kitchen and a family holiday, there is one item that Debby has had her eye on for years.
She added: “A convertible, pink Beetle! My favourite car ever has been a Beetle but I have never had one!”
The shock wins comes as Debby has been working during lockdown supporting the children of key workers.
And news of her incredible windfall has spread around the school rapidly.
Debby added: “I’ve got loads of staff who are outside who have obviously heard what’s going on, I think they’re dying to come in! The kids will be thinking ‘what on Earth is Mrs Heavey doing?’
Expanding on how she plans to spend the cash, Debby added: “I’ve got such an absolutely brilliant family, so some treats. I think I can go a tenner each!
“My mum has just come out of the hospital as she had to have a pacemaker fitted. Before we went into the last lockdown my mum and dad really wanted a family holiday where we all went away together.
“We’ve always done that, but I haven’t gone on a holiday with them in some time. We’ve been looking at going to Croatia in 2022, so I think they’ll be wanting me to foot the bill now!”
Debby is also hoping to help out her local community.
She added: “It’s just brilliant. Where I live, everyone helps one another, they pull together. There’s a real community spirit.
“When all this is over, I know we’ll be back out in the front garden and chatting, sitting in the sunshine and having a glass of wine with the neighbours. It’s just that lovely, friendly spirit.
“My youngest daughter goes along to a local dance group and they’ve been absolutely brilliant. They’ve really struggled. They’re in a local church hall and they work so hard.
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“It’d be lovely if I can help them out in some way because they’ve kept going on via Zoom. Every week they’re contacting the children and they’re so supportive so it would be great to help them out.”
The win comes at an extra special time for Debby as well: “It was our 28th wedding anniversary on Saturday and my husband got me a lovely pair of earrings and some champagne and it’s still in the fridge. But it won’t be tonight!”
Principal Rachel Beckett was delighted to hear her colleague had scooped the prize.
She said: “Debby Heavey is one of the most professional and effective members of staff that I have had the pleasure to work with.
“A genuine lady and well respected in the community.
“Just hoping that a resignation doesn’t land on my desk.”
The other winners in the full winning postcode chose to remain anonymous but their prizes will be paid into their bank accounts.
The remaining players in the winning sector took home prizes based on the amount of tickets played with.
People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Danyl Johnson said: “It was so lovely to bring Debby this amazing news today and I can tell it means the world to her. It sounds like she has some great plans and I hope she gets to take that holiday soon.
“It seems like such a friendly community and I’m thrilled for all our winners in North Staffordshire today. I’m sure there will be plenty of celebrations tonight.”
People’s Postcode Lottery costs £10 a month to play and there are guaranteed winners every day.
Number of winners and prize amounts:
- 5 x £310,000
- 3 x £7,004
- 8 x £5,253
- 61 x £3,502
- 727 x £1,751