£1m jack­pot for pub syn­di­cate

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

A LOTTERY syn­di­cate scooped over £1m - with a ticket kept in a plant pot.

Cham­pagne was sprayed out­side Salt­burn’s Queen’s Ho­tel by the seven mem­bers of the pub’s syn­di­cate as they toasted the life-chang­ing Euromil­lions wind­fall.

One reg­u­lar wept with pride as he said: “They are like fam­ily to us - they de­serve ev­ery­thing.”

Syn­di­cate mem­ber Steve Row cashed the prize af­ter it emerged there was an un­claimed win­ning ticket on Teesside.

“I was pop­ping out to the local Spar and the plant pot just caught my eye as I was walk­ing out of the door so I thought I would take the ticket just to check on the off chance,” said the 38-year-old steel fixer. “I put this ticket in a plant pot in my kitchen for safe keep­ing.

“When the lady be­hind the counter said: “You have won big here” I just said to her: “Don’t be silly!” And she replied say­ing: “No, re­ally, it is a big win­ning ticket.”

The syn­di­cate also in­cludes land­lady Jo Fawcett, her two daugh­ters Rachel and Becky, life­long friend and bar­maid Emma Ox­en­dale and Sa­man­tha Per­ci­val.

The big­gest win in the syn­di­cate’s his­tory was a mere £25, with the group pool­ing win­nings and hand­ing them out as a Christ­mas bonanza.

“We’ve played for six years, and every Christ­mas we split our win­nings - last year it was £172,” said Becky Caird. “It will be a bit more this year!”

The group - life­long friends - say they will con­tinue to play de­spite pock­et­ing around £156,000 each. The syn­di­cate won dur­ing Mega Week so were one of six win­ners of £1m plus a dream trip to a pri­vate is­land in the Sey­chelles. They chose the cash al­ter­na­tive to the Mega Week ex­pe­ri­ence, and also won £5 on an­other line so won a grand to­tal of £1,093,805.

Hol­i­days and homes are al­ready ear­marked with some of the win­nings, with land­lady Jo vow­ing to spruce up the pub.

Rachel Hen­der­son, Jo Fawcett, Emma Ox­en­dale, Becky Caird, Steve Row and Sa­man­tha Per­ci­val cel­e­brate their win

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