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Lottery win helps parents in time of pain

Winning the Heart Foundation Lottery couldn’t bring back their son, but it did help to distract Graeme and Irene Percy in their time of grief. 

When we phoned Graeme and Irene to announce they’d won a brand new Jennian home in Kinloch worth $520,000, we had no way of knowing what was happening in their lives. 

“Our 36-year-old son took his life that same week so we were grieving. And Irene had broken her shoulder that week too,” Graeme explains. “But when you get a call like that from the Heart Foundation, it’s just incredible and it did make our pain easier.”

Now five months since that turbulent week, Graeme and Irene are feeling philosophical about all that’s passed. 

“We’re going through a difficult time at the moment but this is what life sends you now and again. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and we’ve got some wonderful grandchildren.”

The Blenheim couple, both in their 60s, could not be more deserving winners of the Lottery. 

Not only have they fostered a staggering 93 children in their 40 years of marriage, they have also spent years helping troubled youth in the region. 

“It’s been challenging at times but we’ve never found a youth you can’t work with. We enjoy that and we’re still helping children now.

“It’s about getting alongside the youth of today and showing them a bit of love and respect. A lot of them come from homes where they’ve had no respect and have been beaten about.”

Graeme and Irene are long-time supporters of the Heart Foundation. They started buying Lottery tickets in 1999 and became Auto-Buyers in 2002, purchasing two tickets for every Lottery. 

“The Heart Foundation does such a wonderful job saving lives and preventing heart disease, particularly with the research they do, and the more support they can get the better.”

Graeme’s mother died of heart disease and although he’s also had heart trouble, modern treatment has kept him alive.   

“I have the same problems as my mother but it’s survivable today because of the money spent on research by the Heart Foundation.” 

They plan to continue promoting the Heart Foundation by getting others to take part in the Lottery or giving a donation.

“Since we’ve won, a lot of people in Blenheim have written away to buy Lottery tickets. I’ve said ‘Good luck’ and they’ve said ‘No it’s not about winning – this is for a good cause’.”

Make sure you don’t miss out on a chance to win more than $675,000 worth of prizes in Lottery 97, including a stylish Jennian dream home in Whitianga. 

By purchasing a $15 ticket you’ll also help us make a difference for thousands of New Zealanders affected by heart disease.