Champion budgie breeder in a flap after £400,000 lottery win

Gerry Dragoonis from East Kilbride plans to use his nest egg to buy an outcross to improve the quality of his 120-strong flock.

Champion budgie breeder from East Kilbride in a flap after £400,000 People’s Postcode Lottery win

A champion budgie breeder is in a flap after winning £407,000 on the People’s Postcode Lottery – and wants to use the nest egg to buy a new bird.

Gerry Dragoonis, 65, said he’ll shell out on the breeding budgie – known as an outcross – to improve the quality of his 120-strong flock.

The grandad – who won the prestigious ‘best in show’ award for the second time at the last Scottish Budgerigar Society Area Show in 2022 – said: “I used to breed budgies years ago, but family commitments got in the road.

“I got back into it about five years ago and I’ve maybe got about 120 birds at the moment.

“I could buy a certain bird to enhance the ones I’ve got. Bring new blood into the shed to improve the quality of the birds.”

Gerry, of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, bagged £407,032 after G75 0DH was the winner of Postcode Lottery’s weekly Millionaire Street prize on Saturday. The rest of the £1m pot was shared by players in the wider G75 0 postcode sector.

The builder and roofer – who runs a property maintenance firm with brothers Martin, 59, and Michael, 57 – was stunned when his cheque was revealed.

But he said he was going straight back to work and wouldn’t be having a night on the tiles.

He said: “I’m shocked. I don’t know what else I’ll do with it. I never thought I’d get this amount of money.

“Even though I’ve won this, I’ll still have to go to work this afternoon. I’ve got scaffold up on a job just now for a roof repair. The customer is away on holiday and is expecting the job to be finished when they get back.

He added: “I don’t drink, but we’ll go out for a meal to celebrate.

“We haven’t been on holiday for a number of years, maybe just a day here and there. We might go to Spain now.”

The dad-of-two revealed he won a classic Ford RS2000 in a competition last year and opted to take the £19,000 cash equivalent instead.

But he was convinced his Postcode Lottery prize would be no more than £250 – after a cousin landed that amount a few years ago.

He said: “I didn’t expect this. I thought it would be £200 or £250. I only got about two hours sleep last night thinking about it.”

Gerry broke the news to wife Christine, 65, who was at an appointment during the presentation. Now the couple plan to help their son Marc, daughter Marie McLeod and four grandchildren.

He said: “It will be nice to be able to help the family. Family comes first at the end of the day. As long as they’re ok and healthy.”

Gerry revealed part of the reason he signed up for Postcode Lottery was to ensure he was regularly donating to charity. He said: “It’s nice to give something back.”

And because he won, a charity in his area has benefitted from the Millionaire Street prize pot.

East Kilbride-based Achieve More Scotland has been awarded £50,000 from Postcode Community Trust.

The charity delivers free programmes to improve young people’s physical and mental health.

They run sports, physical activity, employability coaching and personal development sessions throughout schools and communities in areas of high social deprivation in the Glasgow region. 

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