GOOD causes in Redditch have benefited from more than £7.7million from The National Lottery in the last two decades.
Figures released to mark the 20th anniversary of the lottery, which started on November 19,1994, show 264 grants awarded to individuals and organisations across the borough.
The largest grant ever handed out was £920,500 towards refurbishing the Palace Theatre while the smallest was £686 to Sunshine Playgroup for new equipment.
The first money awarded to a Redditch organisation was £900,000 in December 1995 to the Where Next Association to help them provide training for residents with learning difficulties.
Big winners have included James Swinford from Southcrest who matched five numbers and the bonus ball in May 2006 to win £154,026.
The Australian, who became a British citizen in 2002 after moving to the UK to be with his grandmother, planned to travel back to Australia to see his mother and have a holiday with his girlfriend using the money.
More recently in December 2013, a group of 14 workers from fashion distributor Motel Rocks in Hunt End picked up just over £70,000 each just before Christmas after winning £1million on a scratchcard.
Having started a syndicate earlier in the year, their success had seen them build up £270 in the kitty so they spent it on tickets for the festive EuroMillions draws and scratchcards. They placed them on a desk and it was only by chance they noticed one of the scratchcards had not been entirely revealed – it was this card which contained the winning numbers.
In total, 111 millionaires have been created in the B postcode – which covers Redditch as well as Birmingham, and 1,126 people have won over £50,000, making it the luckiest postcode in the UK.
Jackie O’Sullivan from the lottery said: “In 20 years, The National Lottery has helped transform life in Redditch for the better, creating iconic cultural landmarks, empowering communities and developing world class sporting talent.
“National Lottery funding has improved people’s health, preserved our rich heritage and created a better future for all. In additional to all the projects that have benefited, thousands of individuals across the UK have won life-changing prizes with 3,600 millionaires created to date.
“National Lottery players can be proud of the positive changes they have helped bring about since the first draw in 1994.”