Yorkshire lottery winners celebrate 25 years of the National Lottery

Yorkshire lottery winners at the Piece Hall. Photo by Simon Hulme.
Yorkshire lottery winners at the Piece Hall. Photo by Simon Hulme.

Since its beginnings in 1994, over 500 people with a Yorkshire postcode have become lottery millionaires.

It has also raised £10.3bn for the UK charity sector, funding over 110,000 charitable projects. One of the projects they contributed to was Halifax’s Piece Hall. The eighteenth century building is the only remaining cloth hall in the UK. It reopened in 2017 as a leisure,retail and heritage destination that has been visited by over 5 million people.

For Mirfield residents Susan and Michael Crossland, family life was transformed for the better when their lucky numbers came up. They were one of three winners that week, and won £1.2m.

“We checked our numbers the day after the draw in the old Ceefax system. When we realised we’d won, we had to go through seven pages before we knew how much..

“We won on the third anniversary of my dad’s death and had used his numbers. I’d been to a psychic who told me that my dad was going to leave me a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“We were able to stop my three disabled siblings from going into residential care. We bought a home and all live together,” said Susan.

“Our children are all grown up now but we’re still able to have a family home, it’s especially lovely around Christmas time,” Michael added.

Amanda and Graham Nield who are originally from Dewsbury won over £6.6m in 2013.

Their winnings allowed Amanda to care for her parents during their final months.

“I was able to give up work and become a full time carer for my Dad, who had Alzheimer's. I also became a carer for my mum who had terminal cancer. I’m forever thankful to the lottery because we were able to give my parents a good life right until the end,” said Amanda.

The National Lottery has made 5,500 millionaires across the UK and has handed out £71 billion in prize money.

Lesley and Malcolm White from Halifax won £1m in March 2018.

“When I realised I had won I was actually buying my next ticket, I had the winning ticket in my purse for a week and had even heard on the radio that there was a winner that hadn’t claimed the prize,” said Lesley.

Lesley, 45, says that the money came at the perfect time, as the couple were struggling financially.

“We were about to lose the house and I dread to think what we would have done if we hadn’t won. Now we’re comfortable and I’ve treated myself to my dream kitchen in my favourite lilac colour,” said Lesley.

Aldan and Sarah Ibbetson from Leeds were only 24 years old when they won the lottery in 2002.

“We were just sat watching the lotto draw on the TV, we’d only bought our ticket a few hours earlier in the local supermarket.

“Initially we thought we’d only got the first five numbers and we were over the moon.

“But when we checked on the teletext that we had all six numbers and had won over £3m,” said Aldan.

Despite winning the money at such a young age, the couple have still managed to keep their feet on the ground.

“We’ve stayed grounded because we’ve got three children and run our own business, so we still go into work every day,” said Sarah.

Vicky Mitchell, from Halifax, won the lottery in August of this year, she’ll receive £10,000 every month for the next thirty years.

“We haven’t gone mad with the money. We’re going to start looking for a new house in the new year and maybe treat ourselves to a new car.

“The biggest thing we’ve bought so far is a couple of new mattresses. It’s still early days so life hasn’t changed too much. We’re still having to save our winnings each month before we make any major changes,” said Vicky.