Minister Scoops £30,000 Lottery Jackpot

Reverend Peter de Villiers and his wife Welda spent £50 a month trying their hand at winning that elusive People’s Postcode Lottery prize.

After winning the payout of the £12,000 prize and an additional £18,000, the couple said that they are not going to spend any of their winnings on their United Free Church congregation in Wishaw, Lanarkshire. They opted to rather spend the cash purchasing a new house in their native South Africa.

Rev de Villiers, 54, said: “Finally our prayers have been answered, with us winning the Postcode Lottery. It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that we can go back to South Africa and buy the home we’ve always wanted.”  Judie McCourt, Postcode Lottery host handed the handsome winning cheque over to the minister and his 49-year-old wife last week.

In the meantime the United Free Church has opposed the reverend’s winning and condemns gambling as a whole. It describes gambling as an activity on its website which appeals to the “selfish” nature of human beings: “Those who assert it’s only a game have failed to see the dark side of problem gambling.”

The reverend de Villiers, who has resided for five years Wishaw, said: “It’s up to the individual and his sense of right and wrong. In my personal opinion I sincerely believe we have done nothing wrong.  “As in the Bible, our teachings are open to analysis. I’ve already discussed this issue with the general secretary who’s in absolute agreement with me.”

He added: “The church to date has been exceedingly good to us and we are here as its guests.  The last thing we wanted to do is be responsible for any form of discomfiture.”  The couple have been accused by a spokesperson of the United Free Church for violation of the rules of gambling.

He said: “The Church has clearly indicated its intentions toward gambling and the ill effects it has on society as a whole, this was already discussed by the General Assembly in 2004. As a result, the Assembly requested its community not to participate in activities such as lotteries.  “We have taken Mr de Villiers’ recent winnings into account in the People’s Postcode Lottery; this in turn will be discussed with him in private.”



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