Lottery winner says late dad from Cardiff ‘looking out for her’

STUNNED Elise Buswell won £250,000 on People’s Postcode Lottery by mistake – then said it was down to her late Welsh dad looking out for her.


Elise, 28, cancelled one of the tickets weeks ago after signing up for two in error – but doubled her winnings anyway because it was still valid for Saturday’s prize.


Now the mobile barber reckons her dad Cardiff-born Robert Seager – who died of cancer last May, aged 67 – is still helping her.

Elise, of Telford, Shropshire, said: “I joined the Postcode Lottery in December, but I accidentally signed up with two tickets. Next day I got two emails saying that I’d signed up twice, but I never got round to cancelling it until a week or two ago.


“The timing’s been right because I’ve still won with two tickets. But I feel like my dad’s always around me, that he’s my guardian angel and he’s the reason that this has happened.


“He was my best friend and unfortunately at the end of May last year I lost him to cancer. He battled it for more than two years, but he lost his fight and left a big hole in my heart.”

She added: “I thought it had to be my dad. I was his baby. He was a lot like that when he was alive. He would help me when he could.


“It’s sad that he’s not here to celebrate with me. But I like to think that he’s celebrating with me in spirit.”


Elise and six neighbours bagged their windfalls in Telford after TF1 5GN won Postcode Lottery’s weekly Millionaire Street £1m prize on Saturday, April 13. Every ticket was worth £125,000. But Elise doubled her winnings with two.

Elise confessed she rarely treats herself but is now considering her first foreign break in 10 years – and possibly a new car.


She said: “Oh my God! This is going to help so much. I’m lost for words. I would have been happy with a couple of grand, to be honest. I’m shaking. It’s unimaginable.


“I’ve not been on holiday for 10 years. Anywhere is fine. Even Wales would be fine. The only holiday I’ve ever had abroad was Greece. I loved that, so I might go to Greece again. But I wouldn’t mind trying Benidorm.”


She added: “I never really treat myself. My kind of treat is a new Hoover. But I might even get a new car now.”


Elise also plans to include her two beloved dogs – Polo, 10, a Husky/Malamute cross, and five-year-old Bentley, a Husky/Boxer cross – in the celebrations.


She said: “My two dogs are my lucky charms. They’ll get lots of chews and toys.”


And she laughed: “I’ll also spend money on sorting bits of the house that they’ve destroyed.”


She added: “It’s also amazing winning with neighbours. It’s nice to be able to share the feeling and excitement.


Directly opposite, young dad James King threw his hand over his mouth, exclaimed ‘Oh my God’ and bowed down after his £125,000 win was revealed, then said: “We’ve got two young kids, we’ll make lots of memories for them.”


James, 29, said he and wife Sally may also speed up their house move plans to get more room for their six-year-old son and daughter, aged three.


The Plumb Center manager said: “I’m speechless and really excited. This is absolutely crazy…life changing. We’ve been thinking about trying to get a slightly bigger house. This will help with that.

“We told our parents over the weekend that we’d won something but tried to stay grounded. I think my mum will faint.


“Our parents have done so much for us. It would be good to give something back to them.”


Part-time civil servant Sally, also 29, said: “This never happens to people like us. It means we can do things we want to do now.


“We’ve got two little ones and we’ve just outgrown this house. A couple of holidays would also be nice…anywhere that’s warm. Hopefully at the end of this week!”


She added: “This will affect our whole family, not just us.”


James said he first joined Postcode Lottery to help a range of charities.


He said: “Having the chance of winning is great. But obviously the money going to charities and giving back a bit makes it more special.”


The couple will celebrate their 30th birthdays within three months of each other later in the year.


Sally said: “James’ is in October and I’m January. We’ll have some big celebrations.”


Up the street, civil servant Tony Ward, 57, won £125,000 after signing up just five months ago.


Now he wants to convert his grey VW Transporter T6.1 – nicknamed Vera, after the Geordie telly detective – to go on retirement ‘adventures’ with wife Lisa, 51.


The keen rambler said: “I was going to convert the van in three years, but I might do it sooner now. I am due to retire in three years and thought we could have a few adventures in the van.”


He has already been quoted around £20,000 to install a kitchen, a pop-up roof and solar panels.


Tony said: “It would be high-spec, the whole shebang. I’ve been planning to travel the North Coast 500 for a long time. We’d also love to do County Kerry in Ireland. But the Amalfi Coast is also on the list.”


Dad-of-one Tony, whose daughter is due to give birth to twins later this year, said they will also help the family – including Lisa’s son and daughter.


After being presented with his cheque, he said: “Oh my God! Wow! I would have been happy with a grand. This will help us a lot and other people in the family. It will take some careful thinking.


“There are so many things to think about with that sort of money. But we’ll definitely be helping our kids.”

Lisa, who works in school transport for children with special educational needs, said they love holidaying in Britain.


She said: “To be honest, we love the UK and have a black Labrador that goes everywhere with us.”


Nearby neighbour Michaela Poulter said she and partner Warren McCarthy will take their four boys – aged seven to 16 – on a dream trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.


Perfume shop supervisor Michaela, 36, said: “This is about making memories for the boys. We want to take them to Disney in Florida for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.”


Kitchen fitter Warren, 45, said they might also splash out on a new car.


He added: “This is massive for us; it gives us freedom.”


Postcode Lottery ambassador Matt Johnson said: “Telford is famous for its industrial heritage. And we brought happiness on an industrial scale to a little corner of the town.”


All of the Telford winners told of their pride at helping out local, national and international charities by being players of People’s Postcode Lottery.


And one local organisation has benefitted from their wins after being awarded £50,000 by Postcode Community Trust.


Volunteer-led Telford Crisis Support creates and distributes emergency parcels to various collection points across the borough of Telford and Wrekin to support individuals and families in financial crisis.


Operations manager Simon Lellow said: “Thanks to the generous funding, we can continue to combat financial poverty and ensure that all those identified and referred by partner agencies receive their emergency parcels as quickly as possible.”


Last year alone, the charity’s dedicated team of volunteers and staff provided 248,000 meals to local people across the boroughs of Telford and Wrekin. Striving to be more than a food and baby bank, the charity provides a wide range of related support services including a pre-loved school uniform scheme as well as help with home energy and re-homing.


Simon added: “The demand for our services in the local community increased by a third last year due to the cost-of-living crisis, so the funding raised by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery couldn’t have come at a better time for us.


“Telford Crisis Support is a holistically focused and volunteer-led charity and we are extremely passionate about helping individuals and families who are most in need.”

How it works


People’s Postcode Lottery costs £12 a month to play and there are guaranteed winners every day. People play with their chosen postcode and are automatically entered into all draws.


Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £1.3 billion for thousands of charities and local good causes.


Prizes include ‘Millionaire Street’ – a £1 million prize every Saturday, £30K on Sundays and a multi-million pound prize is won each month.


This prize was promoted on behalf of Postcode Planet Trust which supports organisations including ZSL, Marine Conservation Society and The Wildlife Trusts.


To find out more, visit

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