A SYNDICATE of care home staff are celebrating today after scooping a £1million Lottery prize on EuroMillions, just weeks after they started to play.

The staff from Willowbank Nursing Home in Burnley, which includes nurses, care assistants and domestics, play 17 lines of Lucky Dip numbers every week on EuroMillions. And it was one of the £1m raffle codes which brought them the luck and the £1m cash prize on Friday.

Each member of Willowbank Syndicate will receive £29,411.73.

Diane Ireland, syndicate leader and care home manager, said: “We have only been playing for around 12 weeks. We have had a few £2.00 and £3.00 wins but this is just unbelievable. The news is still sinking in.

“This is absolutely perfect timing too, just before Christmas. It will certainly ensure we all have the best Christmas ever.”

Mrs Ireland, who has two daughters and four grandchildren, said she is still deciding how she will spend the money but will be ensuring her family is well looked after.

She added: “We have all been talking about how we will spend our winnings. There has been talk of new cars, holidays and just paying off debts. It is just perfect timing for everyone – all of the pre-Christmas financial worries are gone.”

Diane said she received a call on Saturday morning from her deputy saying they had matched the EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle code and won the £1m prize.

She said: “I just did not believe her. My colleague had checked on line so I immediately got my husband to check again on the television – and check again…. and again. When we announced it to the rest of the syndicate they thought it was a joke and didn’t believe us – when they finally knew it was true they just wanted to tell everyone straight away!”

Diane said the syndicate has grown in size since it first started 12 weeks ago and since the win even more members of staff have joined, taking the total to 50.

She said: “We will definitely carry on playing and have bought our tickets for this week’s EuroMillions draw already. We have done 50 Lucky Dips as 50 people are now in the syndicate. I think everyone is just hoping we will win again.

“The win really couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people. They are all so committed and hard-working – the win is certainly very well deserved.”

The winning ticket was bought from Tesco on Centenary Way in Burnley.