Emotions and bank balances were high on North Uist yesterday as residents of a remote community shared a £3million People’s Postcode Lottery win.
Two neighbours from Berneray scooped £193,055 each when their postcode, HS6 5BJ, was revealed as the full winning postcode at a special event in the local village hall. The isle of Berneray has a population of only 140.
A total of 99 remaining residents received cheques ranging from £21,425 to £64,275.
Pamela Macaskill, 43, who works at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre, was one of the lucky players in the full winning postcode.
She said: “I’m just numb, my mouth is dry. I’m completely speechless. You just don’t believe it will ever happen. I mean that’s massive isn’t it. My palms have not stopped sweating.
“The whole place has been buzzing. It’s such a big amount for such a small community. I know pretty much everyone here. It means so much to all of us.”
She now plans to treat husband Angus, a bricklayer, to a new quad bike. They have two daughters, Lucy, 14, and Faye, 12.
Mrs Macaskill planned to celebrate last night with fellow winner Caroline Macdonald, a medical receptionist, who won £42,850.
The second winner in the full winning postcode was Sharon MacKillop, 59, a retired teacher, who worked at local school, Sgoil Uibhist a Tuath.
Mrs MacKillop said: “I’m going to take my husband out for dinner.
“The car probably needs replaced, the outside of the house needs painted, a new mobile for my husband. Maybe a holiday, I’ve never been on a cruise.”
She will also treat her three children, Donald, Patrick and Kenny, along with her husband John Angus.
Mrs MacKillop was also thrilled for her friends and neighbours. She said: “We all know everyone here. It’s lovely that it’s not isolated, it’s a lot people in the community that have got a substantial sum of money.”
People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador and former X Factor star, Danyl Johnson, hosted the event at Carinish Village Hall where he presented cheques to the winners.
He said: “It’s certainly been a day to remember in North Uist. We’ve had prizes in big cities and small villages all over the country, but we’ve never been to place quite like this before. The views here are stunning and everyone has been so friendly, you can really feel the sense of community here.”