I won eye-watering £250,000 – why I still went to work the same morning I found out about massive jackpot | The Sun

A MUM-OF-THREE couldn't believe her luck when she scooped a life changing £250,000 after forking out just £25.

Maudy Van Tonder, from East Sussex, bagged the eye-watering windfall through an Omaze House Draw – and it couldn't have come at a better time.

The hardworking cleaner was struggling after having to cut her hours from 40 plus a week to 10, due to ill health.

But, despite being in physical pain, she was still dragging herself to work being helped by her devoted daughters, Elcke, 23 and Ninke, 18.

In a desperate bid to turn things around, Maudy decided to chance her luck in the Omaze House Draw – and signed up to the subscription just a month ago.

Maudy said: “We’d really been counting the pennies and trying to keep up with all the ever-rising household bills.

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"It was almost a make-or-break period for the family. It’s a life-changing sum of money — this win has instantly transformed our lives, it’s going to relieve so much pressure and stress.

“I would never describe myself as a lucky person, but now I’ve won £250k from my first entry, I think I’ll have to reconsider that!"

The mum-of-three explained she had forgotten all about her entry and stumbled across an Omaze email in her junk folder.

After a quick Google to check she wasn't being scammed, the realisation sunk in that she had won.

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“I still can’t believe I have, it’s just mind-blowing", she continued.

“When Omaze called to tell me I’d won, I recognised Jo from the tele – but still didn’t think I’d actually won anything.

"When she told us how much we’d won I was speechless. My daughter walked in on the call having just woken up, she thought she was still dreaming!

"My husband heard the commotion and walked in still wearing his pyjamas and said ‘this must be a windup’!"

But after the "mind-blowing" discovery, the family did something unusual.

Maudy added: “It was early so we just celebrated with a quick coffee, then all went straight out to work.

"I had obligations and I wasn’t going to let anybody down just because I’d won this unbelievable prize."

The 44-year-old explained that up until now the most they had ever won was an iPod shuffle at a school raffle.

But now, they can add a little luxury to their lives – including a fancy 23rd birthday party for Elcke.

Maudy's son, Francois, will be finishing GCSEs and school prom soon so the family plans to splurge some cash on celebrating.

“Now we don’t have to worry about giving our children everything they deserve, it’s a magical feeling", the hardworking mum added.

And there are big plans too, Maudy explained the jackpot will help send her youngest daughter to university and her eldest through a health care course.

It was early so we just celebrated with a quick coffee, then all went straight out to work."

Meanwhile, Maudy and husband Cornelius, will be splashing the cash on some fancy new cars – replacing their 16 and 18-year-old bangers.

"I’ve always dreamed of owning a Land Rover and my husband has always liked the idea of getting an electric car", she continued.

Originally from South Africa, Maudy also wants to use the money on a family holiday for a long overdue visit.


James Oakes, CEO at Omaze, said: “We’re thrilled that this win is going to help Maudy and her family enjoy an exciting new chapter in their lives.

"By offering amazing prizes such as £250k and stunning houses – Omaze helps to change the lives of its winners – as well as raise money for charities whilst introducing them to brand new audiences. 

“We’re incredibly proud that the Omaze community has already raised £13,250,000 for good causes across the UK.”

Maudy added: "I’ve always liked to donate what I can to help good causes, and supporting important charities through Omaze draws is a great way to do that.”

Omaze House Draws certainly do give back – Maudy's winning draw was part of a campaign to support the NSPCC.

The next prize up for grabs is a stunning £3,500,000 house in the Cotswolds and it will support the NSPCC’s Speak out Stay safe programme, which educates school children about abuse and empowers them to speak out if they feel anything is wrong.

The NSPCC’s research has shown that one in five children in the UK have experienced abuse. 

Omaze has guaranteed a minimum donation of £100,000 and has a target of at least £500,000 that will be allocated to the programme. 

This is the second time the charity has teamed up with the fundraising platform.

The first partnership, in 2021, raised £1,000,000, which funded 33 days of Childline support and facilitated 23,000 counselling sessions.

Maudy is even going to try her luck again and enter the next draw.

The lucky punter who scoops the luxury dream mansion will be able to move into a four-bedroom countryside retreat with 10m heated pool.

They will also be handed £100,000 cash to decorate how they wish, with mortgage and stamp duty paid.

If the winner decided to rent it out, local estate agents estimate they could rake ina whopping £10,000 a month.

The UK Omaze Million Pound House Draw recently saw a family-of-three win a £3m home in Cornwall and a granny win a £3.5m home in the Cotswolds.

Other properties up for grabs include a £3m Victorian town house a stone's throw away from Finsbury Park.

And one lucky couple won a £2.65m James Bond style mansion – but have now put it back on the market.

How to play

Draw entries for the breathtaking Costwolds Omaze Million Pound House Draw, are available here.

The deadline to enter online is Sunday June, 25 2023 while postal entries have until Tuesday June, 27 June 2023.

For full terms and conditions, visit the Omaze website.

No purchase necessary to enter.

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Over 18s and UK residents only.

It is important to note no matter how many times you enter, a win isn't guaranteed.

Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites. 

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