St Luke’s Lottery is celebrating 25 years supporting patient care at the Hospice.

Since the first draw back in July 1994, the Lottery has grown to become St Luke’s biggest single source of income with more than 16,000 people currently playing it each week.

St Luke’s Staff Nurse Di Collins said: “In 1994 St Luke’s was one of the first hospices in the UK to launch a weekly lottery and it has gone from strength to strength to become the single biggest source of income for the Hospice. We are incredibly grateful to our loyal supporters who play it each week, in fact some have been playing since the very first draw.

“After 25 years it still costs just £1 a week to play the Lottery, but all of those pounds collectively make a huge difference to our Hospice. Since 1994 the Lottery has raised a staggering £11 million pounds, which is the equivalent of one week of care on our In-Patient Unit every month for the last 25 years. An incredible achievement!

“Throughout July we will be celebrating the Lottery and thanking our existing players with four weekly bumper jackpot draws of £2019. We also hope to encourage others to sign up for just £1 a week. It really is the easiest way to support St Luke’s.”

The first draw on 1st July 1994 was won by Mrs Norah Davies of Winsford, who is still playing the Lottery today. She won the jackpot of £1,500. She said: “I can’t believe it has been 25 years. I remember we had come back from holiday and my daughter-in-law said do you want the good news or the bad news. The bad news was that our car had been stolen while we were away, but it had been found over on Mount Pleasant with a bloke asleep in it, and the good news was that we had to ring a number. So I rang it and they told us we’d won the Lottery. I’d never won anything in my life before!

“My friends came and we went out for a meal to the railway carriages at the Brighton Belle. So we had a meal there and we had a bottle of champagne which none of us liked really! We didn’t like it but we drank it anyway! We gave some money to the children as well.”

The lucky lady then went on the win the jackpot again in 2001. The grandma of four added: “It’s a good cause and it’s only a £1. I pay £52 a year in advance and then I forget about it, but I feel like I’m doing my bit to help St Luke’s, and I’ve won the jackpot twice!”

Crystal Legal Services based in Crewe is kindly sponsoring St Luke’s 25 year Lottery celebrations throughout July. CEO Tony Shields said: “As a long term supporter of St Luke’s, Crystal is delighted to sponsor the Hospice’s Lottery celebrations. We recognise the value in working with a local charity as a means to give something back to the community. It becomes a focal point for our colleagues to contribute through gifts of time and money to a really fantastic cause.

“There are members of our staff who have had family members and friends cared for by St Luke’s so we understand how committed the staff are and just how superb the care and support is that’s provided to Hospice users.”

Every penny of profit the Lottery raises, currently 70p in every £1, supports local people who are cared for by St Luke’s. Every Friday there are 39 guaranteed cash winners with a weekly top prize of £1,500 (increased to £2019 for the month of July). To support St Luke’s Hospice for just £1 each week, and get the chance to win big cash prizes, please sign up online at www.slhospice.co.uk/lottery. Alternatively, for enquiries or to sign up over the phone please call 01606 553553 or email lottery@slhospice.co.uk