A MUM-of-four from Bishop Auckland had a weekend she will never forget after her postcode netted her a cash prize of over £750,000 with People’s Postcode Lottery.

Rachel Fearns, 32, was one of 258 residents in Hamsterley and Wolsingham, near Bishop Auckland, to land a prize after DL13 3 was announced as July’s Postcode Millions winning sector. Winning players took home a share of an amazing £3.1 million prize pot.

Rachel was the only player with the full winning postcode, DL13 3RG, and scooped one of the lottery’s biggest ever individual jackpots. 

She received her very own knock on the door from lottery ambassador Judie McCourt who presented her with her prize cheque. As the cheque for £378,075 was revealed, Rachel said: “Oh my God! That’s ridiculous, I can’t believe that.”

But there was even more to come. As Rachel plays with two tickets, she received a second golden envelope bringing her total winnings to a stunning £756,150. 

She added: “That’s incredible, I have no words. All the cliches! I’m dumbfounded.
“Never in a million years did I think this would happen, and for that sum of money; it’s incredible.”

Rachel, her husband Carl, and their four children only moved to Hamsterley in the last year and she was keen to use some of her winnings towards home renovations.

She said: “The house needed lots of work, we’ve got doors and windows to replace, we’ve got bathrooms to do, we want to maybe do the loft and we’re in the process of the garden. There’s a lot to do and this will help!”

When asked if she had other plans she added: “I just want to put some money away for the children. A holiday would be lovely. Maybe a handbag, why not?

“We would love to island hop around Hawaii, that’s always kind of been a bit of a pipe dream but we can do that now!”

The Northern Echo: Rachel with lottery ambassador Judie McCourtRachel with lottery ambassador Judie McCourt

Rachel, who is originally from Consett, also wants to treat her family and joked: “My daughter will be seven next month, she’s going to ask me for a horse, isn’t she?”

Rachel already had cause to celebrate this weekend as she is attending a friend’s wedding, she said: “I think we’ll be buying the bride and groom a nice bottle champagne!”

With hundreds of people in her neighbourhood netting a prize, Rachel said how happy she was for the community: “We’ve only just moved to the village, but everyone is so lovely, we’ve been so welcomed. I’m really pleased. I hope everyone is as happy as I am.”

Prize amounts for the other players in the winning sector ranged from £8,341 to £25,023 depending on the number of tickets played with.

The Northern Echo: Rachel was lost for words as she pulled out not one but two winning tickets Rachel was lost for words as she pulled out not one but two winning tickets

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt shared her congratulations with all the winners after presenting Rachel with her cheques, she said: “I’m always thrilled to bring good news to our winners, but as Rachel is from my hometown, Consett, it was a special treat for me to present her with this amazing prize!

“I couldn’t be happier for her and I hope that she, and all our other winners in Bishop Auckland, have a fantastic time with their winnings.”

People’s Postcode Lottery costs £10 a month to play and there are guaranteed winners every day. People play with their chosen postcode and are automatically entered into all draws.

A minimum of 33 per cent from each ticket goes to charity and players have raised more than £750 million for over 9,000 charities and good causes since 2005.

Rachel said she was thrilled about the good causes supported by player funding. She said: “I think it’s such a brilliant concept, everyone can give a little bit and hopefully win something lovely and it’s helping charities up and down the country. It’s a wonderful thing to do.”

This Postcode Millions draw was promoted on behalf of Postcode Children Trust which supports organisations that inspire and support children and young people to make the most of their lives and opportunities within their communities via regular grant funding.

Supported charities include Children 1st, Young Lives vs Cancer and Magic Breakfast.

For more information visit: https://www.postcodelottery.co.uk/good-causes

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