A miracle grandad and his wife who come from Earl Shilton, have won almost half a million pounds – months after cheating death.
Doctors told Michael Stokes that flying home from a Greek holiday after suffering two strokes could have killed him. The businessman is battling back to health after two gruelling operations to clear blocked carotid arteries.
Now he is celebrating with his wife Sandra. The couple – who have five children and 10 grandchildren – shared £1 Million with six neighbours when Earl Shilton postcode LE9 7PA was revealed as the winner of the People’s Postcode Lottery’s weekly Millionaire Street prize.
Each ticket picked up £76,923, but Michael and Sandra had six tickets between them. Another neighbour doubled their prize to £153,846 as they were playing with two tickets.
After People’s Postcode Lottery Presenter Jeff Brazier had revealed the couple’s whopping cheques, a shocked Michael said, “If I’m honest, I’m lucky to be alive – and this is the icing on the cake. Something like this happening was the furthest thing from my mind after everything.”
Midwife Sandra added, “I’m not that emotional, but this is incredible. It’s beyond my wildest dreams.”
The win has wiped away years of torment for the couple after Michael’s brush with death.
Michael, whose neck still bears the scar of a second operation, explained how he became unwell while abroad with Sandra last October. He said, “I had a couple of strokes while on holiday. I went to the hospital in Rhodes and it was diagnosed right away. I lost my speech for a short while each time.
“I flew back home when I probably shouldn’t have. When I got home the doctor told me that there was a 90-per-cent chance I would have arrived in the UK dead.
“Both carotid arteries were 90-per-cent blocked.”
Michael had two operations to clear the arteries – one immediately after arriving home from holiday and the second one last month.
He described how his £307,692 windfall was a happy accident after buying more tickets by mistake. He said, “I’ve been doing Postcode Lottery since it started. I originally bought two tickets. But after six months, I was looking at my bank statement. A few days before I had cancelled some Direct Debits and I couldn’t see the Postcode Lottery payment.
“I thought I’d cancelled it, too, so I bought two more tickets, then the original payment came out the next day. It meant I then had four tickets.”
He added, “I thought about cancelling two, but then thought that if I did that and then won, I’d be really annoyed.”
Sandra, who picked up £153,846 as she played with two tickets, said, “He told me he had two tickets and I thought, ‘He’s not going to win without me – I should have two!'”
Now she’s considering giving up her job as a midwife after taking semi-retirement a few years ago. Sandra said, “I love my job, absolutely love it. I retired once and went back again. But this might be the push I need to properly retire.”
Michael quipped, “If it doesn’t, I will.”
He added, “This has blown my mind. I’ve never seen figures like that in my bank account before. It will be nice to help my kids out – to do things they want to do. I never thought we’d be able to help and now we can.”