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Husband to Buy Engagement Ring 47 Years on Thanks to Lottery Win

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10th January 2020 

One street in South Shields is home to three lottery winners who are sharing an incredible prize of £120,000 thanks to their lucky postcode. 

The Seymour Court neighbours netted the cash when NE34 0DQ was announced as a winner with People’s Postcode Lottery on Monday 6th January 2020. Two of the neighbours scooped £30,000 each, while the third picked up a cheque for £60,000 thanks to playing with two tickets.

Seventy-three-year-old James McLeod, a retired structural engineer, was the lucky double ticket holder. He was joined by Norma, his wife of 47 years, when he discovered how much he’d won. He said: “When I first proposed to Norma I was a bit stingy and didn’t get her a proper engagement ring, so we’ll be heading to the Metro Centre and I’ll be treating her to a ring. 

“I’m not particularly lucky and the only time I’ve ever really won anything prior to this was the day that I met Norma!

“We’ve also not had a holiday for a number of years due to ill health, so this will allow us to travel comfortably and be fit enough to enjoy ourselves when we get there. It would be great to head to the Channel Islands.”

James and Norma, who have three children, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren, plan to treat their family with the windfall too. Norma commented: “I get great pleasure from giving and things can be very difficult for young people so this will go a long way towards helping them.

“I think we’ve been on a high since we won. All I wanted coming into the new year was better health, and I’m starting to feel better already.”

One of the reasons they enjoy playing is because of the money that goes towards supporting good causes, especially local ones. Norma said: “To know that you’re helping charities and helping other people and can still win yourself, I think it’s just wonderful. My heart aches for homeless people and I think it must be terrible to sleep rough so I think it’s great that charities helping people going through that benefit.”

The remaining winners couldn’t be there to collect their cheques in person, but their prize will be paid straight into their bank account. 

Visiting South Shields to deliver the cheques was People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt. She said: “James and Norma are a fantastic couple – it’s clear to see how much they adore one another. I’m delighted to hear their new year is off to such a great start and that Norma will eventually get her engagement ring!”

The prize is part of a special People’s Postcode Lottery’s campaign where one wins £30,000 for every ticket playing throughout the December draws.

A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have helped raise more than £500 million to date for good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

The draw was promoted on behalf of Cats Protection, a charity that helps around 200,000 cats a year through its network of 36 centres and more than 250 volunteer-run branches. The charity rehomes unwanted cats and provides education to teach people about the welfare of their pets.  

Local charities win too and Tyne Rivers Trust is one good cause close to the winners that players have helped support. Last year it was awarded £19,742 to reduce the risk of flooding by creating rain gardens to prevent local surface water run-off.

For more information on People’s Postcode Lottery, please visit or Facebook and Twitter

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