'The most I've ever won on the Lottery is £87.40. That was when I was a student and I spent it all on pizza and alcohol!' admits Sally. 'Today, I still buy a ticket each week. I'm going to be getting married later this year, so I could do with winning the jackpot. I'm joking - Steve and I have been together so long we don't want a huge fuss. But we decided to do it now because I don't want to be an old bride. No, what's nice about playing the Lottery is that even if you don't win, you know that you're helping to fund projects that are benefiting thousands of individuals and communities across the UK.
'We Lottery players raise £25million every week for all sorts of projects, from restoring parks, to helping to secure the ongoing care and support of our disadvantaged people. That's why, when I was approached to be the National Lottery Awards Ambassador, I wanted to do all I could to help. The Awards recognise the dedication of the people behind the projects that the Lottery funds and they highlight, for us - the punters at home - where our money goes. It's you, the public, who vote. If it were down to me, I'd want everyone to win!'
And the winner was...
Last year's winner of the best voluntary/charity project award - sponsored by woman - was the Harbour Place Day centre, which helps vulnerable people in Lincolnshire. Allen Young - the Centre's Project Manager says winning improved the quality of life for people who needed it most.
'We received £336,200 funding in January 2009, which we'll receive over five years. So far, we've used the money to pay our staff who work alongside our volunteers. After winning the award, we received calls from locals who'd never heard of us. We were inundated with clothes and food donations and with the £2,000 prize money, we took many of the people who come to our centre out on day trips. A lot of them had never been on a holiday before. We also could afford to provide dinner with all the trimmings for everyone who dropped into the centre for three days over Christmas as well as sending out 75 food parcels and 100 presents. So, thanks Woman. It really made a difference.'
And the nominees are...
Entrants that make it to the finals of the National Lottery Awards will have an opportunity to win a £2,000 cash prize, as well as appearing on a star-studded prime-time BBC1 TV show later in the year. There are seven categories: sport, heritage, arts, environment, voluntary/charity, which woman is sponsoring, health and education. So if you have a winner in mind, visit lotterygoodcauses.org.uk to find out more. Nominations can be made online or by calling 0207 324 4366. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, February 12.
To make a nomination, go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk.