ECSTATIC care home workers celebrated their ‘unbelievable’ £1m EuroMillions lottery win just weeks after forming a syndicate.
The triumph by 34 staff at Willowbank Nursing Home, Pasturegate, Burnley, will see each member take home almost £30,000 each.
There were jubilant scenes at the home yesterday as 19 of the winners celebrated with a champagne reception put on by organisers Camelot.
The group, which includes nurses, care assistants and domestics have only been playing the lottery for three months, putting on a total of 17 lines each week.
Matching a random nine-digit raffle number on one of those tickets meant the group scooped the £1million bonus prize, or £29,411.73 each.
Nineteen have ‘gone public’ after the win, pledging to splash out on holidays, cars and even a new roof.
Angela Bradshaw, who bought the winning ticket at the Tesco store in Centenary Way last week said it was ‘a dream come true’.
Diane Ireland, syndicate leader and care home manager, said she had to check the raffle numbers several times before she believed she had won.
She said: “We have only been playing for around 12 weeks. We have had a few £2 and £3 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.
“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.
“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.
“All of the pre-Christmas financial worries are gone.
“The win really couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people. They are all so committed and hard-working.”
All but two of the 34 winners are female. Among them is 20-year-old Heather Stokes, who is six months pregnant.
The care assistant said: “I am expecting a baby in March so now I can spoil it rotten. I just can’t believe it. Nothing great ever happens to me. When I told my partner he didn’t believe me. I am still in absolute shock.
“I bought some pyjamas yesterday but that’s about it! I can’t think much further just yet.”
Mother and daughter Nicola and Yvonne Stott said it would be the best Christmas ever in their household.
Nicola, 37, said: “I’ve got my first grandchild on the way so it’s a fantastic boost for us.
“I was dancing around the street when I found out.”
Gemma Urquhart, 23, admitted she didn’t realise just how much the group had won at first.
She said: “I thought that we had the £29,000 to share between us. I thought it would have been a few hundred pounds each – but I was happy with that I would have been able to get my sons extra Christmas presents.
“I am going to get driving lessons and a car and then book flights to see my mum and dad who live in Canada.”
Laundry assistant Iris Moyse, 57, said she was going to have a good time with the money.
She said: “I can’t believe it. I love my job and this has been a real shock. I have been working ever since I was 14 so it just feels great. I have always been a hard worker and when something like this happens you are in shock.
“I am going to book a holiday to Jamaica.”
Emma Crossley, 28, said the windfall would ease financial pressure over Christmas.
She said: “For some part-time workers in here this is more than three years’ wages. It’s all smiles in here, there’s a really good atmosphere and even the residents and their families have been congratulating us.”
The group expect to receive their winnings today.