THE secret is out for would-be lottery winners – move to Sunderland.
Lottery bosses said the city is the luckiest in the North East – and the second luckiest in the whole of the UK.
Last week siblings John Summerville and Margaret Caffry celebrated at the Stadium of Light after scooping £1million in the Euromillions draw.
Statistics revealed by the National Lottery show players in the SR postcode have landed more major prizes of £50,000 or more per head than anywhere else in the country besides Romford, Essex.
Since the launch of the National Lottery in November 1994, 151 Mackems have won in excess of £50,000, including 16 who became millionaires.
John, 52, from Thorney Close, and his sister Margaret, 67, from High Barnes, were joined by Mayor Iain Kay to celebrate Sunderland’s lucky status yesterday.
Coun Kay said: “I suppose the clue is in the title, that it’s a lottery, so you would think anyone has the chance of winning. But if Sunderland is luckier, then that’s something I’m not going to complain about.
“I’d love to see the trend continue because it’s hard times and every bit of extra cash people can get is no bad thing.”
A National Lottery spokesman added: “Congratulations to the people of Sunderland, who not only live in the luckiest postcode in the North East but also one of the luckiest in the UK.”
Meanwhile, John and Margaret told the Echo their huge win is yet to sink in but Margaret has returned to work as a dinnerlady at Thornhill School.
“I’m still numb but it was lovely going back into the school, “ she said.
“They were all bowing down to me but I said to them it didn’t work before and it won’t work now,” she joked.
John added: “Everything’s still just spinning around, we’re just trying to work out what goes where and why and how.
“We’re just figuring out what’s best for us.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Sunderland is a lucky place to live. It certainly proved lucky for us.
“It’s a great place with wonderful people and I’ve no doubt that we’re going to continue to see even more winners.”
Some of Wearside’s winners
•The brother-sister partnership of John Summerville and Margaret Caffry are the latest in a long list of big lottery winners from our region.
•In December 2010, grandparents Paul and Christine Goldie, from Washington, won £3.5million, before Doreen and Fred Smith – also from Washington – scooped £2.4million seven months later.
•Whitburn couple Railston and Violet Watkins “couldn’t believe it” when they joined in the fun last year, netting £1.2million.
•In 2007, a player in Pennywell won just shy of £1million with the ticket they bought only minutes before the draw.
•Pensioners Bob and Mary Carruthers, of Silksworth, became the city’s first Lottery millionaires back in April 1995, when they landed a £2.4million jackpot.