Loyal Press and Journal readers who struck gold in January’s Treasure Hunt competition were delighted to have scooped the £2,015 prize.
Marie and Alan Burns, who have had the paper faithfully delivered to their door for more than three decades, thought their luck was up when they did not scoop one of the eight instant prizes on offer in January.
Not a couple to be disheartened however, the Burns sent away the tokens collected during the competition and were picked from more than 5,000 entrants to win the overall prize.
Last night, Mrs Burns said: “I can’t believe it, we’re absolutely delighted. I always enter the Press and Journal competitions but I’ve never won anything.
“You always hope though.
“I’d actually forgotten all about entering this one. It must have been around New Year time.
“You had to collect something every day and then send away the tokens. I put them away and that’s the last I thought of it.”
The 55-year-old – who joked that she and her husband had blown the cash on a weekend spending spree – said that the money would be shared out among the immediate family.
“The money’s for family. We’ve got two daughters so we’ll be sharing it with them.
“My youngest daughter Fiona is getting married next year so there’s always something to go to.”
Fiona, who is celebrating her 28th birthday later this month, will wed fiance Lee Harrison next year and has plenty of planning ahead.
Eldest child Karen and her civil partner Liz are also set to share in the spoils.
Mrs Burns added that the news her family had claimed the prize – which came through on Friday – felt extra special as she is an avid Press and Journal reader.
“We’ve been married more than 30 years and we’ve been reading it every day since then.
“Before that, my mum and dad were reading the paper.”
Mr Burns, 62, retired last year after nearly three years as Aberdeenshire Council’s roads manager.
Before that he served as the local authority’s principal roads engineer.
Mrs Burns – originally from Banff – also works with the council in the waste management department in her home town.