Sharon Armstrong, 40, from Wallsend was named the first ever Geordie Jackpot winner after the inaugural lottery draw on Saturday 7 October. Sharon was delivered by Rolls-Royce to Newcastle’s Castle Keep to be presented with her winning cheque for £1,000 by world champion triple jumper, North East athletic legend and Olympic gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards.
NE1 broke the news to the winner on Saturday in a telephone call shortly after the draw was made at 8pm.
Sharon originally from Sunniside, has lived in Wallsend for the past 17 years and works in Wallsend at Voyage Care, a residential home for people with acquired brain injuries.
Sharon was given the full VIP treatment when accepting her prize presented by Jonathan Edwards and NE1 Chief Executive, Sean Bullick.
To help celebrate her win and to mark the first lottery prize give-away Sharon was chauffeur-driven to the Castle in a Rolls-Royce, provided by The Vermont and was also presented with a bottle of champagne and a meal for two.
There were though two local winners for the Geordie Jackpot’s inaugural draw– as well as Sharon, the winner of the first bolt on prize was someone who bought their ticket in the west end of the city. The second winner lands a VIP mini cruise to Amsterdam and has been notified by e-mail but has yet to respond to collect their prize.
“I have never won anything before so it was such a lovely surprise and doubly special to know that I’m the first ever winner. I bought my Geordie Jackpot ticket after hearing about the lottery through NE1’s email updates on what’s happening in the city. Knowing that it was a charitable lottery and that the money raised would benefit the city and disadvantaged kids meant that I was happy to sign up and support it on a weekly basis.
“I don’t yet know how I’m going to spend my winnings but I do know I will enjoy it. It is my partner’s birthday at the end of this month so I might treat us both to a night away, a really nice meal or use it to pay for a Christmas to remember.”
Jonathan Edwards who presented the winner with her prize said:
“I am delighted to lend my support to the Geordie Jackpot. It is great news for Sharon, for future winners and great news for the city. Newcastle has been my adopted home for over twenty years and it is great to see NE1 looking for innovative ways to make sure it keeps developing and improving. I’m glad I can play my part and hope the public play theirs by buying tickets and getting behind the Geordie Jackpot.”
Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said:
“Handing over the first Geordie Jackpot cheque is an historical moment – we are delighted that Sharon is our first ever Geordie Jackpot winner! The response from the general public has been phenomenal – Geordies are really showing their pride for the city and playing their part in how Newcastle develops in the future. We love that the public is getting involved, investing in their city and having their say in what new additions they would like to see in Newcastle.
And not forgetting the £25,000 jackpot which is up for grabs and a guaranteed winner of £1,000 every week.”
All people have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to play the Geordie Jackpot online and buy their tickets at www.geordiejackpot.co.uk before midnight on the Friday prior to the draw each Saturday. The money raised from the Geordie Jackpot will go to good causes including transformational investments in the city centre to make it greener, more engaging and family friendly, as well as to local charity, Cash for Kids.
NE1 is looking at a series of city centre improvements based on feedback and suggestions from the general public. Among the ideas up for consideration is a feature water fountain in the city centre, large place branding lettering spelling out the word Newcastle, and a family friendly pop up park located at Grey’s Monument.
The Geordie Jackpot is another first for Business Improvement District Company (BID), NE1 Ltd and for Newcastle. No BID anywhere else in the world has launched its own city centre lottery to support and fund the delivery of city centre improvements including both permanent and temporary installations.