1. ITV Report

Tributes paid to Melissa Ede after transgender LGBT campaigner who won millions on scratchcard dies

Melissa Ede died suddenly at the weekend. Credit: John Giles/PA

Tributes are being paid to flamboyant lottery millionaire Melissa Ede, who reportedly died suddenly at the weekend.

The transgender LGBT campaigner was already well-known for her off-the-wall online videos and daytime TV shows appearances when she won £4 million on a scratchcard.

The former taxi driver proclaimed herself “Mel the millionaire” after the surprise win 18 months ago.

Ms Ede, 58, is understood to have died suddenly on Saturday.

The 58-year-old hailed her 2017 win as a ‘fairytale’. Credit: John Giles/PA

Her partner, paranormal investigator Rachel Nason, confirmed her death to Hull Live and posted a link to the news site’s story about the tragedy on her own Facebook page.

Ms Nasen’s post was immediately followed by scores of sympathy and shock.

At a press conference to celebrate her win in December 2017, Miss Ede said: “I’m not Melissa Ede the taxi driver any more, I’m Mel the millionaire.

“Just because I’m a rich b**** doesn’t stop me being the crazy b**** I’ve always been.”

Ms Ede vowed to continue with her media antics, which saw her post a range of unusual video clips about her life, and also appear on programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Ms Ede bought the winning scratchcard from a service station. Credit: John Giles/PA

Early this month, Ms Ede posted a Facebook message to trolls after she was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack, but was later given the all-clear.

She said: “First, people say it’s a shame I’m not dead.

“I’ve got a message for you people.

“There’s nothing wrong with with this ticker or my lungs. All been checked out.

“So you’ve got me for quite a while, yet.

“I’m sure that’ll make you all happy.”

In December 2017, Ms Ede explained how she went into a garage in Hull to buy fuel with £20, after spending £8.91 on diesel, she could not decide whether to buy cigarettes or the £10 National Lottery Blue Scratchcard.

Ms Ede was already well-known thanks to her online videos and TV appearances. Credit: John Giles/PA

“Something was telling me to buy that scratchcard,” she said.

She said that, after realising she had won: “I got back out of my car, I ran into the garage, I just went, ‘Oh my god you will not believe this, you’ve just handed me £4 million’.”

Ms Ede described how she worked up to 15 hours a day in her rented Ford Mondeo taxi to make ends meet and lived in one room in a shared house.

She said at the time: “The transgender fight to where I am now has been a difficult path.

“I received my operation almost seven years ago and I am really proud of who I am today.

“What a fairytale ending.

“It is all just like a dream.”