After winning eight times at a bingo night at a friend’s house, Sheila Davidson was inspired to buy a National Lottery ticket – and won £4,520,120 as a result.
The married mum of two originally from Strathdon was playing bingo for fun and while she didn’t win any cash she was certainly feeling lucky. The next morning Sheila went straight to her local shop – G Pirrie store on Alford Main Street to buy a Lotto Lucky Dip – and scooped the jackpot!
After spending Saturday night enjoying a band at a local bar, on returning home she couldn’t sleep and decided to check her numbers online.
On discovering that she had all six numbers, the stock controller thought her computer was broken, so she closed down the machine and turned it on again only to find that the numbers were still the same.
She said: “On reading the numbers again, I thought I was going mad so I woke my husband Duncan to check. But he wasn’t convinced either.
“It was now 2am and we were still in complete denial that we could be so lucky. So we got in the car and drove around Alford looking for my daughter. She was at a friend’s house, but of course came straight home when I told her the news. She checked them too and confirmed that we weren’t going insane. We had actually won the jackpot.
“None of us slept that night. And it still hasn’t sunk in.”
When asked what she and husband Duncan would be spending their winnings on, Sheila replied: “A new car because I have been driving my Vauxhall Astra for years now and it’s on its last legs. Duncan only wants to see his favourite football team play at home. He’s a huge Manchester United fan and all he wants to do is see them play at Old Trafford.”
Duncan - a roofer by trade - is also a keen member of local pipe band, Lonach Pipe Band and will be celebrating with his band mates this weekend.
Luck hasn’t always been on the Davidson’s side. Only two short years ago, Sheila was diagnosed with a rare form of mouth cancer, which was only discovered during a routine health check at her local doctor’s surgery.
“Now that I have some money, I really want to give something back to the Maxillio Facial Unit in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. They helped me get better and without them, I wouldn’t be here today. Money would have been of no use to me if I didn’t have my health,” added Sheila.
Sheila bought the winning ticket in G Pirrie store on Main Street, Alford. The winning numbers on Saturday 11 February were 1, 23, 24, 31, 45, 49.
Owner George Pirie, who owns the shop with wife Heather said: “We deliver papers to the Davidsons so when they came into the shop on Sunday morning and said they wanted to speak to me, I was worried they were going to complain about something!
“But when Sheila came round behind the counter and gave me a big hug, I knew that wasn’t case. She told me they’d won the lottery and was hugging her back, thinking it might have been £1000 or something like that. I just about passed out when she said she’d the won the lot – all £4.5m.
“They’re a local couple, well-known to everybody in the village and really lovely people – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer family.”
George and Heather have owned the store in the village for almost seven years and are very much part of the local community.