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National Lottery results LIVE: Winning Lotto Set For Life numbers revealed with HUGE £3.6m jackpot up for grabs

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I won the lottery TWICE in five months

James Courtemanche, 43, from Ontario, can’t believe his luck after scooping over £110,000 in cash from two tickets bought the Minnow Lake Kwik Way in Sudbury, Canada.

He was left gobsmacked to score a sweet $88,888 (£51,883) in 2021 – only to win a second sum totalling $100,000 (£58,369) this year.

James said: “I couldn’t believe it happened again.

“I was so surprised – and then I remembered good things happen in threes, so I’m ready for my next one.”

James bought an Instant Wild 8 ticket from his local store before heading home and making the life-changing discovery.

He couldn’t believe his own luck, but confirmed the prize by checking the ticket on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation app,

It was only in August that he’d paid a visit to Canada’s lottery headquarters to collect his winnings from an earlier purchase at Minnow Lake Kwik Way on Brancroft Drive.

His Instant Money Match card sealed the fate to his first jackpot before he went on to buy the second ticket from the same store.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

The Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) Scholarship Program 2022 (Up to $10,000 US per year)

Global-Sustainable-Electricity-Partnership-ESED-ScholarshipsGlobal-Sustainable-Electricity-Partnership-ESED-Scholarships

Application Deadline: April 11th, 2022

The Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) scholarship program inspires the next generation of innovators and thinkers to create a sustainable future.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this scholarship, prospective applicants must:

  • Undertake master’s-level studies in the fields of zero-carbon energy, smart grids, electric transportation, energy storage, advanced electricity technologies, public policy, economics, law, political science, or other relevant fields
  • Eligible applicants must be pursuing full-time studies for at least one full school year (two or three semesters), beginning in autumn 2022. Students in the second year of a two-year program are eligible to apply, provided that they meet this requirement. Please note that the scholarship is not retroactive, it will cover tuition fees and living expenses for the year 2022-2023.
  • Be a citizen of a developing country/territory on the List of official development aid recipients identified by the Development Co-operation Directorate (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Be committed to contribute to their home country’s development after their studies 
  • Be an outstanding student:
    • Graduates with excellent grades in the top 20% of their class
    • Is committed to zero-carbon energy development
    • Has a history of community involvement
    • Is determined to advance their knowledge and understanding

Requirements

  • Education levelMaster’s-level students
  • Amount : Up to $10,000 US per year (max. two years)
  • Scholarships awarded : Approximately ten students annually

Required Documents

You must provide an electronic copy of all the documents listed below. If the language of your original documents is not English, we require a certified translation of the document which includes the name of the translator as well as a copy of the original (untranslated) document.  

  • Passport (photo page only) or birth certificate
  • Curriculum vitae detailing your education, work experience (if applicable), awards, and participation in volunteer and/or extracurricular activities
  • Admission letter from your university program of choice:
    • Upload a copy of your official letter of admission from the university. Please note that each applicant can only submit the admission letter from their top choice of university program
    • If this application is for the second year of a two-year program, please include proof of enrollment, as well as a copy of the official letter of admission. These should be uploaded together in one document. 
  • Program outline
    • Upload an outline of the curriculum or the courses you will be taking for your master’s program. You may alternatively share the URL of a webpage detailing your program of choice. 
  • University transcript(s)
    • Upload a copy of your complete university transcript(s).
    • If this application is for the second year of a two-year master’s program, please include your transcript for your first year.
  • Two reference letters or forms: 
    • At least one of the references must be from an Academic referee. An academic referee must be a faculty member or professor at your current or previous university who knows your academic abilities. You need to provide a completed copy of the Academic Reference Form. The form must be completed in English and signed by the referee.
    • The second referee may either be another Academic referree (as detailed above) or a personal referee. A personal referee should be a person (e.g. employer, supervisor, mentor, coach) who can discuss other personal qualities or interests that make you specially qualified to receive the scholarship. This referee cannot be a family member. Should you go with the Personal referee, the reference letter needs to be in letterform (with an official letterhead of the referee’s organization, if possible), written in English, and must be dated and signed by the referee. Please make sure that the referee includes your full name in their letter.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the ESED Scholarship Program 2022

Couple transform family home into stylish dark mansion for under £1,000 – and reveal the one drawback

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A CREATIVE couple have turned their family home into a stylish dark mansion for less than £1,000.

Mum-of-two, Sonia Bhanot and her husband Chris have transformed their 1930s terraced home in Coventry using a daring dark décor and unique second-hand pieces.

The dining area before the makeover

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The dining area before the makeoverCredit: Caters
The home has turned into a stylish dark mansion

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The home has turned into a stylish dark mansionCredit: Caters
The staircase before the transformation

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The staircase before the transformationCredit: Caters
The staircase now looks completely different

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The staircase now looks completely differentCredit: Caters
The couple's bathroom before

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The couple’s bathroom beforeCredit: Caters
They now have an exotic-style bathroom

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They now have an exotic-style bathroomCredit: Caters

The 46-year-old mum has shared how she managed to create a stunning family home on a budget and said the biggest expense was plants and paint.

She admitted there is only one drawback in using dark colours- dust- but said it is worth it.

Sonia said: “We moved here in 2009 and it was all beige walls. It was very bland with nothing about it really.

“But we had two young kids and we didn’t really know what our style was when the boys were little.

“We never liked the way it was decorated but when you have young children, it’s sometimes hard to show your personality at home.

“We looked into what we wanted our home to be like for us and we ripped up the laminate to find floorboards and found original tiles in the hallway.

“We started to find quirky features in the house and embraced them.

“A lot of the things in this house I have made, the red tassel lampshade and some artwork.

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“The mannequin heads I found on eBay and turned them into wall planters.

“I like pieces that are unique and not something you can buy in every shop.

“My favourite room has to be the living room and one of my favourite features in the house is the fireplace.”

“Our little dining area in the kitchen is so cosy. I hand stencilled the gold stars and I gold leafed the tiles in the kitchen.

“The kitchen cupboards were fine, but not to our taste so we just changed the handles and painted the front of them.

“In our dining area, I like to repurpose everything so we repainted our table and chairs.

“It cost around £30 to transform the bathroom and most of that was buying a new toilet seat.”

“Paint was our main expense – and I do like to buy a lot of plants.

“I made the red and black fringe lamp and yes things do attract dust but that’s part of it.”

The pair who moved into the property over ten years ago decided to transform the four-bed home once their sons Evan and Cassius were no longer little.

The project saw them fill the property with artwork, stylish patterns and bold designs.

Sonia added: “I decorate with my feelings and for us, our home has such a cosy and comforting feel to it.

“I feel like the lounge hugs you as you walk in.

“We encompass the darkness and embrace it.

“I adore the open fire, that sold the house to me and it brings the house alive in winter.”

“It’s not a massive house, no high ceilings and when we said we wanted to go dark with our design ideas people said it will make the room smaller, but honestly that’s rubbish.”

“People either love it or it’s too dark for them to live in. But for me it’s not too much.

“I love that it’s not an empty shell and instead it is filled with things we love.”

“Your house has to make you smile and feel good that you live there.

“I’d encourage anyone to go dark with their décor. Get confident about what you’re doing with your home and do it if you want to, don’t worry about what other people think.”

The couple have spent less than £1,000

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The couple have spent less than £1,000Credit: Caters
The most expensive items were house plants and paint

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The most expensive items were house plants and paintCredit: Caters
The home's stunning kitchen

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The home’s stunning kitchenCredit: Caters
I bought a 1970s fisherman’s boat for just £2.3k to save money… now I live in it and people are alway stunned when they see inside

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

National Lottery draw LIVE: Huge £3.6m Set For Life jackpot TONIGHT after EuroMillions & Lotto numbers revealed

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I won the lottery TWICE in five months

James Courtemanche, 43, from Ontario, can’t believe his luck after scooping over £110,000 in cash from two tickets bought the Minnow Lake Kwik Way in Sudbury, Canada.

He was left gobsmacked to score a sweet $88,888 (£51,883) in 2021 – only to win a second sum totalling $100,000 (£58,369) this year.

James said: “I couldn’t believe it happened again.

“I was so surprised – and then I remembered good things happen in threes, so I’m ready for my next one.”

James bought an Instant Wild 8 ticket from his local store before heading home and making the life-changing discovery.

He couldn’t believe his own luck, but confirmed the prize by checking the ticket on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation app,

It was only in August that he’d paid a visit to Canada’s lottery headquarters to collect his winnings from an earlier purchase at Minnow Lake Kwik Way on Brancroft Drive.

His Instant Money Match card sealed the fate to his first jackpot before he went on to buy the second ticket from the same store.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

Parents warned about letters demanding child benefit tax payments – as they risk huge fines

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THOUSANDS of parents have been warned they could face demands to give back child benefit – and there could be huge fines for failing to repay.

Mums or Dads earning over £50,000 must pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HCBC) if they get the benefit.

NINTCHDBPICT000439042103

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NINTCHDBPICT000439042103Credit: Alamy

Child benefit is worth £84.60 a month for the first child – or just over £1,000 a year – and £56 a month for an extra child.

Anyone affected by the high income charge must file a tax return and the deadline for doing this is fast approaching on January 31.

Around 1.6million are set to be affected by the tax charge this year – around one in five families,

Before the pandemic hit, more than 120,000 families were contacted by HMRC for failing to comply with the rule, according to data from NFU Mutual.

The HCBC means if either parent earns over £50,000 then they have to pay a tax charge on the benefit.

The tax charge is paid at a rate of 1% of the benefit for every £100 earned over this amount.

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If either parent earns £60,000 or more the full amount must be repaid.

But many parents are not aware of the charge which came in from 2013. 

The Sun has previously spoken to parents who were hit with surprise bills of thousands of pounds.

If you fail to file a self-assessment tax return you could be fined up to 30% of what you owe by HMRC

The number of people chased by HMRC dropped because of the pandemic – but the taxman is still doing checks that could result in demands hitting parents doormats.

Sean McCann, chartered financial planner at NFU Mutual, said: “HMRC dramatically increased the number of checks they made before the pandemic when over 120,000 families were contacted in a single tax year, but as staff were redeployed to deal with Covid schemes, that figure collapsed.

“Families who didn’t receive reminder letters last year shouldn’t assume the tax isn’t owed.

“If you have income over £50,000 and receive child benefit or live with a partner who does, you may need to repay it.

He added that with the self-assessment tax return deadline looming at the end of January it’s worth checking now if you need to pay the tax charge.

You need to file a self-assessment tax return by January 31, and do this for every year that you’re affected.

30% fine

Some parents continue to claim child benefit and to pay the charge because it helps them to build up national insurance credits, which you need to qualify for the state pension.

If you fail to let HMRC know and don’t pay the tax charge, they can fine you – on top of what you owe.

The value of the fine can be up to 30% of the amount, unless you have a “reasonable excuse”.

A reasonable excuse is not outlined by HMRC or the defined by the law but you must have a good reason for not meeting your tax obligation and you’ll need to prove this.

More than 1,000 penalties were handed out in the 2029/20 tax year and nearly 5,000 the year before.

If you are fined and think you shouldn’t have been you can appeal.

McCann said: “Although the number of fines being issued on top of the tax for failing to notify HMRC has fallen, the taxman is still likely to chase you if you ignore their reminder letters.”

Check out our guide to filing your tax return.

You can use the government’s child benefit tax calculator to see how you might be affected.

Martin Lewis explains how to get free internet if you’re on Universal Credit

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BBC Licence Fee FROZEN for two years – but households face bigger bills for four more years

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THE BBC licence fee will be frozen for two years as the government attempts to support families hit by rocketing living costs.

It means households won’t have to pay more than £159 a year (the current charge of the license fee) until 2024.

The BBC licence fee is to be frozen until 2024

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The BBC licence fee is to be frozen until 2024Credit: Getty

After that though, the following four years will see prices rise in line with inflation.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced the decision in parliament today as she revealed the government just “could not justify putting extra pressure on wallets of hard working of households.”

It follows months of talk between ministers and the Beeb.

The organisation has argued for a rise sufficient at least to cover inflation, which is set to hit 4.4% next year.

But struggling households have the rising cost of living to face themselves, with energy bills skyrocketing and other household bills like broadband taking a steep hit too.

The television fee, worth £3.2billion annually to the BBC, went up from £157.50 to £159 last year.

Most read in Money

But speaking this afternoon, Nadine Dorries confirmed no further rise will now be considered before 2024.

It’s thought that households can benefit from a halt to rising prices as they’re already battling many other steep charges.

The fee has always been set by the government and has risen in line with inflation every year since 2017.

Tory MPs argue that it should be reduced owing to the success of paid-for streaming services such as Netflix.

But the Beeb has warned it will struggle to meet the rising cost of programming if the fee does not go up at a similar rate.

You don’t need a TV licence to own or have a TV set.

However, watching live TV or catch-up through the BBC iPlayer on any device without a TV licence is a criminal offence and if you’re caught, you could be fined up to £1,000.

MPs slam BBC over Martin Bashir scandal with one boasting of ripping up TV licence

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

I used to work at McDonald’s and you can get popular item for FREE – I would give away loads

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A FORMER McDonald’s worker has revealed the popular burger favourite you can get for FREE.

Batoul Salman, from Sydney in Australia, posted a short video to TikTok to lift the lid on three little-known hacks about the fast food chain.

Batoul Salman shared three secrets she learned while working at McDonald's

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Batoul Salman shared three secrets she learned while working at McDonald’sCredit: TikTok / @halalfoodsydney
In the clip, she was seen eating a burger and fries from McDonald's

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In the clip, she was seen eating a burger and fries from McDonald’sCredit: TikTok / @halalfoodsydney

In the viral clip, which has clocked up more than 654,000 views, she says she worked at McDonald’s as a teenager.

As part of “3 things you definitely didn’t know about Maccas”, she shocks customers by revealing they can add as many pickles to an order as they please.

Batoul said: “Pickles are free so you can actually go and ask for a whole tub of it.

“We used to get pregnant women coming in all the time.”

In another admission, she claimed that sometimes customers don’t always get what they ask for.

She said: “If we’re out of skim milk and we needed to go and get another bottle – I’ve seen someone do this – they use full cream milk.”

Most read in The Sun

And when a McDonald’s employee says the ice cream machine is ‘out of order’ – it’s not always the case.

She said: “Sometimes when we used to say the ice cream machine was broken, it actually wasn’t… but someone accidentally put shake mix into the ice cream mix.”

The video has garnered almost 500 comments – some from other fast food workers who agreed with her confessions, and had their own stories to share.

One person commented: “Half the time on overnights when we said ‘the ice cream machine wasn’t working’, it really means I just cleaned it and I’m not making a mess for you aha.”

Another said: “If it wasn’t shake mix it was because someone accidentally put it in cleaning mode and you had to wait for the machine to finish cleaning.”

A barista chimed in to say: “There’s a 75 per cent chance that if you order a skim coffee, it’s full cream.”

Posting off her account @halalfoodsydney, Batoul faces the camera appearing to eat a burger and fries from the Golden Arches while a voiceover reveals the three secrets.

One viewer asked if McDonald’s is Halal, to which she responds that some stores are, like one near her home in Liverpool.

Other people who responded in the comments weren’t so sure about the choice to eat extra pickles.

They said: “Why would you ask for a cup of pickles? I ask for extra and i feel bad lol.”

The Sun has approached McDonald’s UK head office for comment.

She shared the tips in a video that's since gone viral

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She shared the tips in a video that’s since gone viralCredit: TikTok / @halalfoodsydney
More than 654,000 people have watch Batoul's video on TikTok

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More than 654,000 people have watch Batoul’s video on TikTokCredit: TikTok / @halalfoodsydney

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

Rare £2 coin sells for £100 on eBay – but both sides of the design are identical

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A RARE coin strikes a small fortune for a seller on eBay all because both sides share the same design. 

The listing went up on December 31 and was live for seven days, with the coin eventually selling for £100.

The coin has the same design on both the front and back

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The coin has the same design on both the front and back
Despite only having one bidder, the coin sold for £30 more than it was originally listed as

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Despite only having one bidder, the coin sold for £30 more than it was originally listed as

The item was originally listed for £70 on December 31 2021, and increased by £30 on January 7 when the bidding ended. 

Usually, one side of a coin will feature an artistic design or symbol, while the other often pictures the current monarch or leader. 

That’s not the case for this 19 year old £2 coin which boasts the same design on both sides and was created by art teacher, Bruce Rushin, who won a competition open to the public to design the reverse of the coin. 

The image shows the development of technology from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution.

But despite its unusual identical error, the coin only piqued the interest of one bidder, meaning a bidding war was off the table.

This is rare in itself, as some other coins on eBay have caused quite the grapple

Most read in Money

How to spot a rare error coin

Watch out when looking at error coins on eBay, as there may be fakes floating about.

Pay attention to the amount of people bidding for a coin, as this could give you a good indication of whether or not the coin is legit or even of interest.

This isn’t always a sure-fire way to sniff out a scam, as legit coins can have low bids like in the case of this £2 copycat coin.

You could also simply ask the seller if they have sent the coin off to be examined.

If you’re feeling iffy about a rare coin that seems too good to be true and you can’t authenticate it, it’s best not to buy it.

Can I sell a rare coin?

Though rare coins are fascinating, it’s no surprise they exist when roughly three to four million coins are manufactured by The Royal Mint a day.

Error or not, rare coins are still classed as legal tender, and as they are circulated there’s a high chance you’ll own one yourself.

The slightly longer way to check whether your coins have genuine minting errors would be to send them to The Royal Mint Museum, which will analyse it for you and leave you without a doubt if you decide to list it.

If you can prove it’s authenticity, you may be able to sell it for even more.

If you so happen to check your purse and notice something odd about a coin, an easy way to check if it’s unusual is with a quick internet search.

You should research the coin using the date printed on it to find others of its kind and compare how they look.

If there are differences, you can hop on eBay to check if other sellers are listing any similar error coins for an idea of what’s desirable.

Alternatively, websites like Change Checker and Coin Hunter are also worth a surf to uncover which coins are currently highly sought after.

Also, The Royal Mint, which is the government-owned mint exclusively supplying the nations coinage, released mintage figures last year.

By looking at these, you can get a good indication of your coin’s desirability based on how many are in circulation.

The Sun spoke to coins expert Jon White of the Britannia Coin Company to discuss rare 50p Kew Gardens and how to spot fakes- you can find out if you have any in your pocket.

And it’s not just Kew Gardens 50ps that are stacking up a profit, check if you have any other rare 50ps that could be lying around.

Meanwhile, other error coins can bag you up to £3,100 – check if you could make yourself a small fortune.

Scottish couple stunned as coin found in old tin worth £360

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

Universal Credit and benefit claimants can get up to £800 help with bills – how much can you get?

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BRITS on Universal Credit and other benefits may be able to get fresh help if they are struggling with bills worth as much as £800.

The Household Support Fund is a £500m pot of cash that’s being handed out to low income families this winter as living costs rocket.

Millions are struggling with bills because of rising prices - but there's help available

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Millions are struggling with bills because of rising prices – but there’s help availableCredit: Getty

Each council has a different amount of cash to give out through the fund and if you’re getting Universal Credit and other benefits you could be eligible.

The £500m pot of cash is distributed according to the size, population and needs of each area, and is then dished out to those who need it locally.

For example £12.8million has been given out in Birmingham – the largest amount of any area – followed by £11m for Kent and £9.7million in Lancashire.

Families and households can apply for a share of this cash from councils and in some case it can be worth hundreds of pounds in cash or supermarket vouchers.

But what support is available, including the amount and how you get it, depends on where you live.

Residents of Runneymede in Surrey for example can apply for help worth as much as £800 and you are eligible if you are on Universal Credit or other benefits

Most read in Money

The cash can help you cover the cost of food, heating, white goods and essential repairs and you need to apply to the council directly to get the support.

Anyone on Universal Credit can also get help from Rutland County Council if they are living in the East Midlands area.

There’s £100 of free cash to help cover bills over the winter and you could also be eligible if you’re claiming other benefits, including Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Job Seekers Allowance (JSA).

People in Spelthorne in Surrey who need help for  food, energy and water costs can get a one-off payment of between £50 to £80 if they are getting any of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income related)
  • Pension Credit

Anyone who needs help with bills, food or other household essentials, not just those in Universal Credit or benefits, may be able to get help too.

Each area also has it’s own eligibility criteria, and in some places you just have to show that you’re struggling to pay bills.

You can find your local council using this tool and searching you postcode and see what they are giving out through the fund.

It’s best to do this sooner rather than later as some councils have deadlines for applications of funds, and some have already closed.

The funding generally runs until the end of March this year, but applications could close earlier or before the stated deadline if there’s high demand.

If you miss out on the cash there’s still other support you can get if you’re on Universal Credit and struggling to pay bills or other costs.

You could help like a council tax discount, cheaper internet or extra payments during the coldest weather – check out the full help you can get in out guide.

If you money from the Household Support Fund you won’t have to pay it back.

There are other ways you can get help too that means you don’t have to borrow money or get into debt, like welfare assistance schemes.

If you’re worried about falling behind on bills. there are plenty of organisations where you can get advice for free, including:

My family reuse toilet roll because I refuse to spend money when I don’t have to

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Parents slam UK’s maternity and paternity benefits as ‘completely outdated’

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THE UK’s maternity and paternity benefits are completed outdated – according to working parents and expectant adults.

One in seven of the 1,518 polled have already left a job due to poor perks at a time when they needed help the most.

Parents say businesses need to improve their maternity and paternity benefits

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Parents say businesses need to improve their maternity and paternity benefits

While a further two thirds are prepared to switch careers if the leave and pay schemes don’t improve for new mums and dads.

And one third believe British businesses desperately need to update and improve their policies to allow for more time off, and better pay.

It also emerged more than half (52%) fear losing their job while on maternity or paternity leave.

One in 10 respondents have also been unhappy with the amount of time off they have previously received.

Of those, more than a third (36%) said this negative feeling led them to be less motivated to do a good job when they returned to work.

David Duffy, chief executive of Virgin Money, which commissioned the research to launch its new ‘A Life More Virgin’ benefits and flexible working package to colleagues, said: “The pandemic has permanently changed our approach to working life.

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“It’s clear to us that by taking a purpose-driven approach to how we work, we can help colleagues achieve a work-life balance that brings out their best.

“We have listened to how colleagues want to work and what benefits are most important, and as a result we’re bringing in A Life More Virgin, our compelling package for all colleagues that reflects the world we live in today.

“This includes equal parental leave, generous holidays with additional wellbeing days, and flexibility on where people work.”

Other worries about parental leave include not being paid enough during time away from work (58%) and not being given enough time off in the first place (51%).

More than half (58%) feared missing out on promotions or opportunities while on maternity or paternity leave.

Nearly one in three (29%) working parents and expectant parents think statutory leave in the UK is outdated.

While 28% believe it doesn’t support fathers enough – while a further 26% feel the UK lags behind other countries.

As well as parental leave, employees also expect their company to offer 30 days annual leave (55%), wellbeing days (39%), private medical insurance (31%) and the opportunity to work remotely abroad each year (28%).

Nearly half (46%) of those polled say a shared approach to parental leave would help lessen the burden on mothers.

And a further four in 10 believe it would provide families with greater financial freedom to decide what works for them from a career point of view.

It also emerged that more than half (54%) think guilty feelings for working and spending time apart from their child in its early years are among the biggest challenges to working parents.

Another 51% worry about being able to manage logistics of childcare while working, including dropping off and picking up from nursery or school.

Stacey Solomon reveals her maternity leave ends as she explains why she can only have THREE months off

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