Life inside small town where hundreds of people won the lottery

Last May, 435 of the 8,000 residents in Rhymney, Wales hit the ‘jackpot’ and won themselves a share of the People’s ­Postcode Lottery.

Now, Channel 4 is set to air a documentary about the Valleys town where the lucky winners split a whopping £3.7million. 

The broadcaster visited the town in Caerphilly county to find out how the money had changed the lives of locals, reports WalesOnline.

Nine neighbours shared the biggest portion of the winnings, landing them £185,000 each.

One of those, retired steelworker Ted Owen, had played with two tickets which meant he received £370,000. He made plans to buy a Jaguar and go on a cruise but the win was bittersweet for Ted, whose wife had recently died, robbing him of the chance to enjoy the fortune.

“I wish my wife could have enjoyed it as well,” he said. “She had cancer, she got over it and then it came back. She would have definitely bought a cruise.”

Former coal merchant David Price, nicknamed Lionhead, won £185,000. He died three months later from heart failure at the age of 65 after fighting sepsis and long Covid.

His 24-year-old niece Emma Taylor said the moment they learned of the lottery result was “like a Hollywood film”. She added: “We both started crying when we saw the cheque. It was so exciting.

So many people are struggling and to see his face light up was magical. I feel sad he never got to enjoy the win, but before he passed away he bought himself a quad bike. He also gave everyone in the family a share of the winnings. Nothing made him happier than giving people money and seeing their smile.”

Emma also told how the residents had a street party to celebrate the win. “Everyone was so happy and excited. So many are struggling and things are going wrong. Suddenly Rhymney won the lottery and that has been crazy. It’s been nice to see so many people having big smiles on their faces.”

Married couple Mary and Simon Lewis received £8,000, which allowed them to buy a touring caravan and go on their first UK holiday in 14 years. Mary, who has been unable to do her job as a cleaner due to her long Covid battle, said every spare penny earned by Simon — who works 70 hours a week as a lorry driver — had been taken up by food and energy bills.

She said of their win: “I felt like a kid in the candy shop. We went to Devon and five of our children and two of our six grandchildren came with us. It was really special.”

A 90-year-old woman called Betty also won £3,894. “It will be a big help,” she said. “I was really pleased, with the heating going up. A lot aren’t working who have won it.”

Every day, winners are announced from the People’s Postcode Lottery draw. Players living in a lucky area share the jackpot in return for a monthly £10 subscription. The amount each winner receives varies based on whether they match all or some of the postcode, and how many tickets they play with.

One Rhymney resident, Mary, said there was no envy from those in the NP22 5 postcode who did not take part in the lottery. She added: “Everyone was pleased for each other. The ones that won big deserved it. It’s helping them out at the height of the energy bills crisis. Winning this amount of money across the community has created such a nice buzz. People still can’t stop talking about it. It’s great Channel 4 is making this documentary about us.”

The Welsh Valley that won the Lottery airs tonight at 6.05pm on Channel 4.

This post is originally appeared on Express UK

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