Express & Star

Celebrations as six Wolverhampton neighbours bank more than £1.5 million with lottery windfall

Six neighbours in Wolverhampton are celebrating after scooping a windfall of more than £1.5 million on the People’s Postcode Lottery.

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Neighbours show off their winnings

Stunned mum Rachel Turley-Salmons, 51, was driving to the lottery prize presentation event when she spotted her father Philip’s old private registration plate on a car in front.

Minutes later, the emotional former teacher won £266,666 – and her widowed mum Pat Turley, 76, scooped £1,873.

Rachel Turley-Salmons

Tearful Rachel looked up to the sky after getting her cheque and declared: “My dad sent this for us. Thanks Dad.”

The mum-of-three and her family were driving to pick up her mum when they spotted the old number plate, which began with the letters PJT – after dad Philip John Turley.

They sold the plate when Philip died two years ago, aged 77, after suffering a stroke.

Rachel, who gave up work to care for her dad at home, said: “My dad looked after us all my life and we recently lost him.

“There have been signs all the time. My mum is a firm believer that he is still looking after us.

Mum Pat and Rachel celebrate with Matt

“When I saw the car, I just thought ‘Why would that registration be in front of me?'

“That’s Dad making sure we’re OK. This will make things very comfortable for us.

“I didn’t really believe in that sort of thing before. Now I’m a believer.”

She added: “My dad would be saying ‘You deserve this…enjoy it’. He was proud of my sister and me. We’ve both grafted and worked for everything.

"We’ve never had a penny off anyone. He would just be so jubilant.

“He would breathe a sigh of relief and say, ‘She is OK now’.”

Rachel and her mum were winners in Postcode Lottery’s monthly Millions prize.

Rachel and five others banked £266,666 each with the full winning postcode, WV10 8TS, which is in the Bushbury area.

The rest of the £3.2 million pot was shared among 772 players in the wider postcode area of WV10 8.

Each ticket was worth £1,873, but 61 winners doubled their prize with two briefs.

Six winners had three tickets, worth £5,619, one person had five tickets bagging them £9,365 and another had the maximum six tickets with a total of £11,238.

Rachel’s husband, Richard, 46, revealed she nearly missed out on the windfall – after they moved house and almost cancelled their ticket at the winning address.

The operations director said: “We were going to cancel it and move it to our new postcode. But we decided to leave it until our old house was sold.”

Rachel is now planning treats for her family, including her husband, three sons, mum and civilian police worker sister Sarah, 54.

Richard has always dreamed of a Caribbean holiday, middle son Harry, 14, wants to visit Miami after falling in love with the city through movies, and youngest lad Jack, 10, has his eye on an iPad Pro.

Rachel said: “We can start to make the children’s lives fun again after losing their grandpa.

“I’m going to book a holiday. We’ve not been on one for many years because of Dad. Since I lost my dad, I’ve lost my mojo.

“My husband wants to go to the Caribbean and my boys want to go to Miami.

“I didn’t want to seem greedy, but I thought it would be about £30,000. That would have put some money back in the bank for us and let us treat my mum and sister. But I can’t believe this figure.”

John Smith will share cash with wife Val, son Jonathan and his wife Natasha

The Salmons’ old neighbour, John Smith, also won £266,666 because he refused to cancel their ticket when they moved to a new address a few doors down – which has a different postcode.

Retired John, 66, said: “We have lived on the estate for 44 years. We were the fourth people to move in.

“We moved to this house three years ago. There is one letter of a difference in the postcode.

"The old one, which we’ve won with is WV10 8TS and this one has a ‘Y’ instead of the ‘S’.

“But I’d never give up the ticket at the old address. Although I’m not there anymore, that’s my house.”

Now he and wife Val, 66, plan to treat their two sons and four grandchildren – and are looking at buying a holiday home in their dream spot of Paignton, Devon.

John said: “I’ve never won anything like this in my life and, at my age, it will probably be the first and last time.”

Val added: “I’m shaking with shock. This is going to mean such a lot.”

Stephen Rogers

Across the road, retired postman Stephen Rogers, 67, said he has dreamed of a big win for years.

The dad-of-four said: “This will be a life-changer for me. I’ve dreamed about something like this for years and years and never thought it would happen. It always happens to other people, but this time it is me.”

Directly opposite, Wolverhampton Wanderers fan Stephen Short said he might buy a corporate box at Molineux.

Stephen Short and wife Annette plan their spending spree

The grandad was gobsmacked when ambassador Matt Johnson unveiled the bumper cheque to him and wife Annette, 59.

Retired Stephen, 67, said: “We’ve been up since 4am in anticipation. The world is our oyster now."

Three doors up, grandad and retired Santa, Raymond Jordan, 79, also bagged £266,666.

He said: “Although I’ve won the money, someone else is benefitting as well, especially the charities – all the charities."

Raymond Jordan

People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Matt Johnson said: “We had a wonderful time spreading cheer throughout the community, especially our six big winners.

“And it’s amazing that over 770 happy people in the postcode sector have each scooped a tidy four-figure win. Congratulations Wolverhampton.

“All our players know that, as well as having a chance to win big money, they are supporting hundreds of charities including in their own local area. It’s a real win-win for everyone.”