Bill lands jackpot and wins £10,000

Bill French receives her cheque from BBC weather presenter Hannah Bayman.
Bill French receives her cheque from BBC weather presenter Hannah Bayman.

A LUCKY supporter of a regional charity has scooped £10,000 in its lottery jackpot.

Bill French, of Blyth, has been supporting St Oswald’s Hospice since his wife Irene was a patient and has been playing its lottery for 14 years.

Now his numbers have come up and he was presented with a £10,000 rollover first prize by BBC Look North weather presenter and St Oswald’s supporter Hannah Bayman.

Bill said: “My wife Irene was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at around the same time that St Oswald’s first opened.

“She was one of the first outpatients at the hospice and later on she was on the ward.

“Irene definitely benefited from coming to St Oswald’s, it helped her a lot.”

Bill holds one number a week in memory of Irene, but said because he pays for it by direct debit he had all but forgotten about it.

He added: “When I got the phone call I was shaking, I couldn’t believe it.

“I was just about to go and get a bank loan because I needed a new car.

“Irene would’ve been over the moon to know I’d won.”

Around 22,000 St Oswald’s supporters play the lottery each week, and all are in with a chance of winning the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and 17 further prizes of £10.  

Each week there is also a chance of winning the jackpot prize which starts at £500, and if this is not won, the pot is ‘rolled over’ to the next week until it reaches the maximum total of £10,000, when there is a guaranteed lucky winner.

Hugh Medcalf, fundraiser at St Oswald’s, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to present Bill with a cheque for £10,000.

“We are extremely grateful to our lottery players as without them we would not be able to continue providing our specialist services.”