The winner of the St Catherine’s Hospice MINI car raffle found out he had won the prize whilst out playing golf – and wondered at first whether his friends were playing a joke on him!
Patrick Conlan’s winning ticket was drawn by Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Lucy Kay at this year’s Saturday night Symphony at the Tower concert.
In previous years the Conlans have attended the event at Hoghton Tower, but Patrick was playing in the Shaw Hill Golf Club Captain’s tournament that weekend, which meant he had to be up early and on the green by 7.30am on the Sunday.
When friends arrived who had been at the Symphony concert and told him that his name had been drawn, he said he wasn’t sure if it was a joke.
Patrick, who lives in Whittle-le-Woods with wife Bernie, said: “They told me it was my ticket, but I thought they were winding me up!
“I’d sent the tickets back to the hospice in April as usual when they arrived with the spring newsletter and hadn’t thought anything more about them. You never think you’re going to win – we just want to support St Catherine’s and always buy a few books of tickets each year because it’s such a good cause.
“In the meantime, Bernie had also got a phone call from St Catherine’s advising that we were the winners. We couldn’t believe it! We’ve never won anything like this before.”
Patrick and Bernie, who have five children and six grandchildren, said they were looking forward to getting behind the wheel.
“I used to drive a MINI years ago,” Bernie said. “They are great little cars.
“We have a caravan in the Lake District and taking the MINI up there will be great for nipping around the country lanes.”
This year’s car raffle, kindly sponsored by Redscar Kitchens, Ian Wilde Independent Funeral Directors and Bowker MINI, raised an amazing £49,206 in ticket sales, which will be used to fund hospice’s specialised care for local people in Central Lancashire.
Sharon Shahsvar and Les Holderness, who own Redscar Kitchens in Preston, said they were delighted to sponsor the raffle and see the fantastic prize go to a great home.
Sharon said: “We know how important the care of St Catherine’s is to local people and were very proud to join in their special year of 30th anniversary celebrations through our involvement with the MINI car raffle.
“A big thank you goes to everyone who bought a ticket and helped support St Catherine’s.”
Sheila Kennard, Head of Lottery and Promotions at St Catherine’s, said: “As we celebrate the hospice’s special birthday this year, it’s nice to be able to give out such a fabulous present to one of our wonderful supporters!
“We are delighted with the total and so grateful to our sponsors and our supporters for their fantastic contributions. The money raised will make a real difference to those facing life-shortening conditions such as cancer, heart failure and motor neurone disease – providing comfort and care for them and their families.”
Graham McMurray, from Bowker MINI, added: “This is the second year we have been involved with the MINI car raffle for St Catherine’s and we are thrilled to hear how successful it has been in raising much-needed funds for the charity.
“As St Catherine’s celebrates 30 years of being part of our local community, we’re keen to lend our support to help them continue their important work for another three decades, and beyond.”