People’s Postcode Lottery: Swinton widow wins huge prize on using late husband’s tickets
Lesley McNally, 54, kept playing after her beloved hubby Garry died suddenly of a heart attack in September 2021.
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A woman from Swinton has won a six-figure sum - using her late husband’s lottery tickets.
Lesley McNally, 54, kept playing after her beloved hubby Garry died suddenly of a heart attack in September 2021, five days after he turned 60. And the mum-of-three wept when People’s Postcode Lottery showed up on her street to reveal their postcode - M27 9UY - had landed her £166,666 as part of the first ever Millionaire Street prize on Moss Bank Road.
Lesley said: “I’m happy that I’ve won, and the family have won. But it is tinged with sadness, because we had played for a long time and Garry’s not here to see it. This is a life-changing amount of money for me and Gaz.”
Car dealership administrator Lesley had been with Garry since she was 16 and was amrried for 37 years before he sadly died. The couple had just moved into their semi-detached bungalow eight months before and the builder and decorator had been working on renovations at the time. Now their three sons – roofing firm boss Alan, 35, fireman Matthew, 32, and Emmerdale sound technician Steven, 29 – are helping their mum.
Grandmother Lesley said: “We played Postcode Lottery in the old house and continued to play when we moved here. We had a bigger house, then the boys all left, and we downsized. This is where we would have lived forever. But eight months later Gaz had a sudden heart attack five days after his 60th birthday.
“If he was here, he would have started building. After we moved in, he had the roof off in a day. Now I’ll just enjoy it and do what we wanted to do.”
She added: “I feel sick, I’m just overwhelmed…I really don’t know how to feel. This solves a lot of things. Garry passed away very suddenly and there wasn’t a plan. This just makes the plan.
“There are just so many emotions that went through my head. It’s unbelievable and will change the family’s lives. It will all be shared. It’ll help me and the boys.”
In July 2022, Garry’s Postcode Lottery tickets also won the family a £2,000 cash prize. And son Alan reckons their dad is looking down on them.
He said: “I’m not a spiritual person, but when we were paying for dad’s headstone, mum got the £2,000 win – and now this.”
Brother Steven added: “This is amazing, it’s massive for my mum. It has been difficult times.”
Lesley had been on her way to work when she stopped her car to ask the Postcode Lottery team if anyone in the area had won – and struggled to believe she was one of them.
She said: “When I saw the Postcode Lottery in the street, I thought it was the Labour Party canvassing for votes, because of the red clothing. I was on my way to work. But I phoned my boss to say that I was going to be late.”
She added: “It’s just lovely that other people in the street won, too. People struggle at the moment, so I don’t want to be ‘I won’ when other people are struggling. But because other people are sharing in the win, I don’t feel so guilty.”
Lesley was one of eight people with the Moss Bank Road postcode to share £1 million in the first ever weekly Millionaire Street prize – with each ticket worth £83,333.
Her neighbour Chris Leonard, 64, landed the street’s biggest prize of £249,999, playing with three tickets. Now he wants to splash out on a red Mercedes CLA 220d – as well as a holiday to a five-star hotel in Anglesey, Wales, that will accommodate his dogs Rosie and Poppy.
The civil servant, who celebrated with wife of 40 years Elisa, 59, said: “This is going to make a mind-blowing difference.
“We got the biggest shock of our lives when we saw the amount. I didn’t sleep the night before because of expectations of what we could win. Elisa promised me a car and maybe Mercedes will phone me now.”