Wiltshire Air Ambulance supporter Anthony Toso, who won just over £11,000 on the charity’s Superdraw lottery, has generously donated back a portion of his winnings.
Mr Toso, of Highworth, near Swindon, was stunned to be told he had landed £11,321.95 from the Superdraw, but he and his wife, Linda, decided the charity should benefit and donated £500.
Following the win, the couple visited Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s airbase, in Semington, where they learned more about how the team works, including the specialist aviation and clinical training the paramedics undergo – funded by donations – and were shown the Bell 429 helicopter.
Mr Toso, 72, a retired project manager at the Central Office of Information, said: “I couldn’t believe that I won and when we received the money we both thought we should make a donation to Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The service it provides to critically ill and injured people is indispensable, the county couldn’t be without it.”
His wife, a 71-year-old retired hairdresser, said: “We were very impressed when we visited the airbase and met the team. Everyone is so dedicated and knowledgeable. It’s nice to see how, by playing the charity’s Lottery and Superdraw, we are helping to keep the air ambulance operational. We shall be encouraging people in our town to support the charity.”
Mr Toso started playing the charity’s lotteries in 2016 but increased his commitment in May 2018 when he met a Lottery canvasser in a supermarket in Highworth and it was the numbers from this sign up that resulted in his big Superdraw win.
As well as the donation to Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Mr and Mrs Toso have treated their two daughters from the winnings.
The couple, who also have three grandchildren, moved to Highworth 13 years ago from London where they lived and worked.
Rebecca de la Bedoyere, grants, lottery and legacies co-ordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “All of us at Wiltshire Air Ambulance are so pleased for Anthony and Linda and we hope they enjoy their winnings. For them to kindly donate some of their prize money back to us was completely unexpected and very touching.
“By playing our lottery and Superdraw they have already helped to ensure we can continue our lifesaving service and their generous donation of £500 will cover our running costs for over an hour! That hour could mean the difference between life and death for someone in Wiltshire, so we are truly grateful. “
Players of Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s regular Lottery can join the Superdraw. While the regular Lottery has a top prize of £1,000 a week, the Superdraw rolls over if there is no complete match until it reaches a maximum prize of £25,000.
To play Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s regular Lottery costs £1 a week, while playing the Superdraw costs an extra £1 a week.
Players must be 16 years of age or over.