LUCKY Wearsider James Watson had the perfect start to 2013 as he won a car in a raffle.
The 52-year-old is now in the driving seat after claiming a C1 car in the Grace House draw.
Thousands of people bought a ticket for the raffle, with the proceeds going towards helping the hospice which will soon be fully operational.
A delighted James, of Sulgrave, in Washington, said: “I didn’t find out until I got back to work that I’d won the car raffle. I thought it was a wind-up as I never win nothing.
“It’s marvellous that Town Centre Citroen have donated the car and are supporting a really good cause.
“It’s amazing that I’ve won the Citroen C1 for only £1.”
Sunderland motor dealership Town Centre Citroen kindly donated the prize for the raffle, which thousands of people entered.
The winning ticket was drawn from a cement mixer by actor Steve Arnott, who is playing Abanazar in Aladdin at the Theatre Royal Pantomime, in Newcastle.
Proceeds are now going towards the hospice, which will soon be caring for poorly youngsters with life-limiting illnesses from Sunderland and the rest of the North East.
Chris Sopp, dealer principal at Town Centre Citreon, said: “We have been supporting Grace House now for 16 months.
“Promoting the C1 raffle has been so much fun and everyone has been right behind it.
“There was always going to be a winner and to win a brand new car for a £1 raffle ticket is tremendous.
“We are glad we were in a position to make it happen.
“We will be continuing our support of Grace House into 2013.”
Karen Maclennan, fund-raiser at Grace House, said: “It was wonderful watching James receive the keys from Town Centre Citroen for the brand new Citroen C1.
“I would like to thank everyone again for buying a ticket, and especially to Town Centre Citroen for donating a car for us to raffle.”