The National Lottery has celebrated its 25th anniversary – and revealed that 47 millionaires have been created in the north-east.
In the AB postcodes, 276 top-tier prizes of at least £50,000 have been won in the region, including the 47 people who have received more than £1m.
Since the National Lottery began in 1994, there have been 526 millionaires made in Scotland, and 5,500 across the UK.
As well as handing money to members of the public, more than £40 billion has also been raised for good causes, with around £30m donated each week.
Winners in the area have included Fred and Lesley Higgins, from Laurencekirk, who scooped £57,975,367 in July last year; Libby Elliot, from Ellon, who took home £2,159,664 in August 2012; and Sheila and Duncan Davidson, from Alford, who won £4,520,123 in February 2012.
Mr and Mrs Higgins and Libby got together at Aberdeen’s Duthie Park to mark the anniversary yesterday.
Libby, 57, who has now moved to Fife, has been travelling the world since her win.
She said: “It’s been totally life-changing. You just can’t imagine how lucky you feel. Being a part of it all is amazing.
“We get to go along and support the good causes which is fabulous. We get to help hospices as well.
“You’re just able to do what you want to do. I’m privileged enough to be retired. We’re so lucky to be able to give to charity and to go travelling.”
In the past year, she has jetted off to a number of destinations, including Bangkok in Thailand, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Arizona, Minnesota and Buenos Aires.
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Winners Fred and Lesley Higgins have also had a busy year.
Lesley, 59, said: “It’s been a big learning curve.
“There’s been a lot going on in the past year, Camelot have introduced us to other winners.”
Fred, 69, added: “You meet a lot of different people from different walks of life.”
Andy Carter, senior winners’ adviser at the National Lottery, said: “It’s fantastic to see Aberdeenshire among some of the luckiest postcodes in the UK with 276 prizes of over £50,000 being scooped by residents.
“The AB area certainly has enjoyed lots of lottery luck. Over the last 25 years, the National Lottery has been making amazing things happen.”