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I won dream £50k car with cheap raffle ticket but turned it down – people were shocked but there’s a touching reason why {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

A LUCKY raffle winner who scooped their dream car and cash worth £50,000 turned it all down - but there's a touching reason why. Fernando Pinho was shocked when he discovered his life-changing win after paying just £1.50 for a ticket, two weeks after entering the BOTB competition for the first time.The dad-of-two had left his role as a Royal Opera House producer and started working for a charity that helps children with cancer before bagging the jackpot.
Fernando runs an organisation, called Please Take Me There, which drives the kids to their hospital appointments.But, he also uses his private pilot licence to give families going through incredibly tough times an enjoyable experience in the sky. Now the 47-year-old, from Cambridge, is using the £2,000 cash prize and donating it to the charity. He is also keeping his old car, instead of upgrading to the Volvo EX30 worth an eye-watering £46,5000.

“You just do these things without even thinking about it,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it when Christian contacted me to say I’d won. “We decided at the last minute to take the money. “The charity is run by volunteers and we use our own cars to help families. I will look to maybe get a used car which we can use for that but also use the money to help grow the operation.” Fernando, who is originally from Portugal, kick started Please Take Me There after becoming a dad. He was also inspired by his own brother, who was unfortunately diagnosed with leukaemia at 11-years-old. But, despite battling a severe case, the young boy thankfully survived. “During those four years I learned that, around the world, if you have a child with cancer there are only a few hospitals where you can go for treatment," added Fernando.
"For example, in the UK there are just 19 - if you live in Cornwall you would need to travel to Bristol. “I realised there was a problem and when I became a dad I decided to pause my career to be with my family. "I helped a few projects and eventually decided to help families of children with cancer with transport." The private pilot explained they have taken their services to countries like Burma, as well as the UK. He added: “I always wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid, and when I got my licence I realised I could help. "There are a lot of children who have a terminal diagnosis or families who want to give their child something else to think about.”

Fernando first started flying families out for short breaks in 2018, and by 2019 the service was in full swing.
Despite being halted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity boss is back in the cockpit. “Some of the most beautiful moments of my life are when I’m in the cockpit with a family and there is silence,” he continued. “My life was tough as a child and I remember flying for the first time as a teenager, looking through the window and having that sense of looking down and realising things are not as bad as they look from the ground.

“When I take families away and see the same look on their faces that I had, it is so peaceful. You can see what’s going on in their mind.”

Fernando thanked his wife Jane and two children, Amélie, 10, and Marley, four, for their support.
He does not take any wages from the charity, which means Jane - who works as a lawyer, takes care of the bills. "It’s not always easy, but I couldn’t go back to what I was doing now," the proud husband added.
BOTB presenter Christian Williams said: “What Fernando does for other people is amazing and the fact that he wants to use his prize to continue that work just shows what an incredible person he is."I can’t think of anyone more deserving."

BOTB shells out prizes every week, including holidays, Rolex watches, cars and motorbikes.
Since launching the firm founded by William Hindmarch, in 1999, the online competition has seen £53million worth of cars given away. This included Saleem Chaudhary, from Birmingham, who said he believed his late mother was 'looking down' on him and helped him win a BOTB mega-prize. On top of his sizeable chunk of cash, Saleem received a luxury Mercedes Brabus GLE-700 Coupe as part of the Best of the Best (BOTB) dream car competition.

Back to Homepage 20 Sep 2023