Loanhead residents win share of Â£3 million postcode lottery pot
SEVEN lucky winners have each walked away with over Â£100,000 after their Loanhead postcode was selected for a Â£3 million cash giveaway.
Representatives from the People’s Postcode Lottery were on hand at Melville Castle to dish out the money, which ranged from £5338 all the way up into six-figure sums.
And it was a particularly big day for six players from the full winning postcode – EH20 9LF – as they were each handed cheques for £187,500.
Meanwhile a seventh resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, scooped a whopping £375,000.
There were emotional scenes as residents picked up their winnings, which came after the EH20 9 postcode sector was revealed as a winner earlier this month.
Mum-of-two Chorina McColl, 50, was one of the £187,500 winners and was joined at the celebrations by her 16-year-old twin daughters Kerry and Lee.
Chorina, who works as a barista at The Sandwich Hub on Dundee Street, said she was “ecstatic and delighted” about her win.
She said: “It’s life changing – that’s massive to me.
“I feel it’s been a long time since we knew, since we got the wee pink envelope.
“The first thing you ask is how much have I won and they said to me it’ll be no less than £1000. I thought ‘£1000 – happy days, that’s good for me’ so that’s what I came for, my £1000.
“Now I can pay my mortgage off and just chill, calm down, no more overtime.”
Chorina, who also plans to do some redecorating and help with her daughters’ driving lessons, previously won £5000 at at bingo but said since then she’d “not had luck for years”.
She said the prize was all the more special because of the fact there wasn’t just one winner.
“The normal lotto is one winner, one smile, whereas postcode lotto is like a hundred and loads of smiles which is better,” Chorina explained.
“It can make life easier for loads of people instead of just one.”
She added: “I love life [but] it’s been really tough – I’ve worked for everything that I’ve managed to get.
“It’s been hard and this is going to set me up for life – this is going to make me feel 100 times better.”
Another big winner was 47-year-old Jillian Peacock, who was joined at Melville Castle by her 18-year-old daughter Iona.
Jillian, who who works as a hairdresser, initially thought she’d won £5338 but when her postcode was announced as the full winner ended up with a much larger £187,500.
The mum-of-three, from Paradykes Avenue, said she started playing four years ago but never dreamed she would be walking away with such a “life-changing” total.
Describing her “surreal” win, she said: “You do it [People’s Postcode Lottery] because you know it’s going to Scotland and Scottish charities and that was really why I went there. I never ever for one minute thought it would land on Paradykes.
“I don’t know when it will sink it to be honest.”
Despite walking away with such a large amount, Jillian said she enjoyed the build up just as much as the winning.
She added: “I loved it. That’s what I’ve enjoyed about this, the whole wait.
“You had the buzz of your friends and your neighbours and that’s what is magic about this – it’s not just you, it’s not one person.
“My mum and dad won the lottery would you believe so I’ve seen that and you think it’ll never happen to me.
“It’s quite surreal when you come along and you don’t know what you’re getting. You have no idea what’s coming out that envelope so [it’s] a big surprise, a massive surprise to be honest.”
And it was a truly family affair after two of Jillian’s cousins – sisters Tricia Wellington and Pamela Semple – also won £5338 and £10,670 respectively.
The duo, who live next door to each other on Mckinlay Terrace, have both lived in Loanhead all of their lives.
Pam, 51, said: “It’s the best feeling since Hibs won the Scottish Cup last year.
“My husband wants snow tyres – I think we’ll manage something more than that.
“It’s just amazing because it’s all people you know. We have lived in Loanhead all our lives so I knew 90 per cent of the winners who went up there.
“The whole community has been buzzing.”
Tricia, 47, plans to go on holiday and buy a new garden shed. She said: “It’s so exciting – this never happens. You don’t think it happens to ordinary towns but it does.”
Brick layer Krzysztof Cienciala also won £187,500 and was with his wife Joanna, 44, and daughter Patrycja, 17 when he found out how much he’d won.
The 44-year-old moved with his family to Loanhead two years ago from Trannent.
He is now planning to buy a new car, pay off his mortgage and take his family on holiday.
He said: “That’s the first time I’ve won in my life. It’s going to be a bit easier – it’s been brilliant.”