In the European lottery draw on Friday 16 March this year, a syndicate of bus drivers from Corby in Northamptonshire won the £38 million jackpot.
There were twelve members of the syndicate and they each receive £3.1 million apiece.
Charles Gillion is one of the lucky Eurolottery winners and had planned to retire later this year: clearly he can leave a little earlier now. He and his wife Penelope, a retired cleaner, have been married for 45 years and intend to share their good fortune with their growing family: at present they have no less than three children, ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Alex Robertson is in much the same position, having sixteen grandchildren, and he joked his share of the win might not be enough to go round!
The syndicate has been in existence for around three years and their best previous win was in 2011 when they won £212 – £18 each.
The European lottery syndicate organizer, Chris Smith, checked the winning numbers several times at home with his wife, “We couldn’t really believe they all matched,” he said. The claim was placed with Camelot, the lottery administrators in the UK, first thing the next morning.
Understandably none of the syndicate members made it into work the next day. John Noakes, another member, told reporters “You cannot drive a bus packed with seventy people when your mind is on other things, it’s just not safe.”
This was the fourth large win on the European lottery for UK players this year and Nottinghamshire seems particularly favoured. Gareth and Catherine Ball from Mansfield won £40 million on 20 January, Cassey Carrington and Matt Topham from Nottinghamshire won £45 million on 7 February and one player who decided to remain anonymous won £22 million on 2 March. These all follow on from the record £161 million win by Colin and Chris Weir in 2011.
There are nine countries participating in the Eurolottery draw (Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Britain) so it is amazing that one country should be so lucky. A spokesperson for the National Lottery said, “The UK is clearly enjoying a run of amazing luck.”
Add to this the fact that more UK millionaires than ever are being created by both the European lottery and the British National Lottery (229 in 2011) and you can see this is a great time to be playing these lotteries.