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Paper sends Santa early as family "wins Christmas"

The Argus in Brighton has made a family’s Christmas wish come true – by sending Santa Claus to tell them the paper would be funding their entire Christmas.

The Win a Christmas prize ranged from presents and food to toys and the turkey.

Behind Santa and the Argus photographer was a delivery van packed to the brim with enough presents to give Sue Lord’s family the Christmas of a lifetime, with a total value of some £6,000.

And slowly it dawned on her that they had been picked, out of almost 6,000 others, to be the lucky winners.

Sue and three of her four children watched wide-eyed as Argus head of sales and marketing Steve Lowe unloaded parcel after parcel from The Argus van and carried them into their home.

So shocked at her unexpected good luck was Sue, she could not remember exactly what she had won.

As children Kayleigh, (15), 10-year-old Kieran and six-year-old Kimberley excitedly ripped open the mystery parcels, she was still lost for words.

Sue said: “I never ever thought I’d win it. I don’t believe it, I am gobsmacked.”

The family have had their home decked out in festive lights and decorations since December 1 but now they have to find somewhere to put another tree and new decorations too.

The past two years have been a difficult time for the family, with Sue’s husband Steve suffering a motorbike crash that left him seriously injured, then become unemployed. His mother died in July.

But they are now looking forward to a much happier Christmas – and even a New Year’s Eve party.

In total over 15,000 in prizes were given away, all sourced by the promotions team headed by Heidi Walter.

Steve Lowe said: “More than 4,500 telephone responses, 4,000 daily entries and 6,000 postcards for the big one, made this the biggest response promotion of the year.

“Win your Christmas captured the readers and the response was fantastic.”

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