A grieving Lanarkshire woman is to collect her late dad’s share of the £7.9m Postcode Lottery jackpot today after he tragically died before finding out about his win.
Andrew Gillon, 59, passed away during surgery at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow on January 7.
The beloved dad had broken his neck after falling down some stairs at a friend’s house on New Years Day.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – as well as features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and allows you to customize your page to the sections that matter most to you.
Head to the App Store and never miss a beat in Lanarkshire – iOS – Android
He died unexpectedly while undergoing an operation a few days later.
Andrew’s heartbroken daughter Lisa Thomas, 32, said her family have been left devastated by his sudden death and are still struggling to come to terms with what happened.
Lisa, from Hamilton, said she was shocked to find out her dad, who worked for Scottish Water, had been sent one of the golden envelopes along with the rest of the players on his former street, Shaw Crescent, Wishaw.
Despite no longer playing, Andrew is still counted as one of the winners of Scotland’s biggest single Postcode Lottery Jackpot and Lisa has been chosen to collect his prize in his honour.
The mum-of-three said she feels like she’s been given one last gift from her dad.
Lisa said: “I found out dad had won via his friend and neighbour.
“I thought there was no way he could have as I had blocked his bank account, so I presumed no payments would have been taken.
“My dad’s played postcode lottery for as many years as I can remember.
“When I got it confirmed, I felt absolutely devastated at first.
“I could just hear the excited phone call from him telling me he had won and I know his first thought would be to book us all a holiday.
“Now I still feel sad that he’s not here to enjoy this with us, but I also feel some excitement for him and I’m sure he has had something to do with this.
“There’s been so many ‘signs’ since he left us and I’m certain he is watching saying ‘I told you so’.
Lisa, who is mum to Connor, Farrah and Aspen, said she remembers laughing with her dad last Christmas because the first card he received for the holidays was from the Postcode Lottery.
She added: “I was laughing at him for his first Christmas card being from them.
“All I remember him saying is, ‘well you won’t be laughing when I win!’ and he was right I wasn’t laughing, I was crying.”
The Postcode Lottery announced earlier this week that hundreds of players within the ML20 postcode had been told they had won a share of the £7.9m jackpot. All winners will receive a minimum of £1000.
Lisa will find out today exactly how much her dad’s postcode has won at an exclusive event in Glasgow.
She said: “About Saturday- I feel emotional thinking about it.
“Even if it’s the minimum £1k my dad would have been over the moon.
It’s hard to say I’m excited as my biggest emotion about it is sadness that he’s not here to enjoy the excitement of the day with us, but we will be there thinking of him and thanking him.”
*Don’t miss the latest headlines from around Lanarkshire. Sign up to our newsletters here.
And did you know Lanarkshire Live had its own app? Download yours for free here.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.