£1m jackpot for pub syndicate
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