Mere school parent Bella Guy has won the jackpot prize of £25,000 on the Mere School Lottery. Bella matched all six of the numbers drawn on 29 July, 2017, to win the big prize. ‘I couldn’t believe it when I was told,’ says Bella, whose seven year old daughter, Amelia attends the school.
‘The last two years have been pretty tough and this will make such a difference to us. Amelia is seven years own and is on her sixth bedroom because the homes we live in keep on being sold or the rent goes up. We plan to use a sizeable chunk of it towards a deposit on a house, hopefully on the homes being built on the former Hillbrush site. And we’re also going to take a family holiday somewhere that involves a plane!’
Mere School only began the lottery in April 2017, parents and the community able to buy a weekly ticket for £1. The lottery is run by external lottery management company Gatherwell, which set up in 2013 with a mission to help good causes raise money through a nationwide scheme called Your School Lottery. A good proportion of the money from ticket sales goes back to the school and Mere School hopes to receive more than £3000 annually.
Every week there is a guaranteed winner from every school, and each ticket is eligible to win the jackpot – Bella is the first ever jackpot winner. ‘We started the lottery for the reason they were originally created – to raise money, and in this case for local communities to help make them better places to live,’ says Gatherwell’s Operations Director, Wayne Chow.
Bella and her husband Chris both grew up in Mere and went to Mere School. ‘It is such a wonderful school and I know that all the extra money goes straight back into the school, making it a great place for the children,’ says Bella. ‘If I can win the £25,000 jackpot then anyone can!’
‘Since Bella’s win, the ticket sales have gone through the roof,’ laughs Mere School headteacher Catriona Williamson.
Pictured from left to right: headteacher Catriona Williamson, Gatherwell’s Wayne Chow, Bella Guy and daughter Amelia and Kate Jenkins from the PTFA which organised the lottery
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