Lucky 13 For Spalding Factory Workers
The number 13 proved to be lucky after all for a group of factory workers from Spalding when they scooped a whopping £1,000,000 on the EuroMillions draw at the weekend.
The syndicate of 13 won the guaranteed UK £1 million prize in the EuroMillions Millionaire Maker draw on Friday 16th January.
Syndicate leader Mark Waters (50) and fellow syndicate member Karen Taylor, who both work in the soup packing department at food manufacturing firm, Bakkavor in Spalding, were the first to realise they had won big a day after the draw. However the duo kept the win a secret until they were sure it was true.
"It's been a roller coaster week!" said Mark.
"Karen takes charge of the tickets and on Saturday morning I had a dozen or so missed calls from her. She usually picks me up on the way to work so my first thought was she's had an accident. When I eventually spoke to her she screamed down the 'phone.
"I don't know whether it's true but I think we've won the lottery!". She'd checked the numbers online but neither of us believed our eyes, as we thought something like this could never happen to us.
We didn't want to excite everyone until we'd spoken to Camelot, so we kept quiet until lunch time when we could take our break and make the call. It was the longest six hours of my life!"
During their lunch break the grandfather-of-two finally broke the good news to his colleagues that they'd won over £76,000 each. The syndicate started playing together just ten weeks ago.
"'We've won the Lottery!' I shouted and the room lit up. You've never seen a group of more ecstatic people in your life, we certainly are the lucky 13.
"At first no-one believed me, but as soon as we'd explained that we'd spoken to Camelot and it was true, the whole room went mad."
Mark continued: "This doesn't usually happen to factory workers like us, £76,000 doesn't mean we can all give up work but it means we can do all those things we've wanted to do but just haven't been able to afford."
Mark hasn't wasted any time in spending his winnings. He added: "I've wanted a new lawn mower for years so I went straight out and bought one, it was such a nice feeling. I have two grandchildren so I want our garden to be a nice space for them to play in the summer. My partner and I also have plans to go to Barbados for a friend's birthday, which before this win would have been out of the question."
He concluded: "This is a dream come true for many of us, and we'll be making the most it by treating the family to nice holidays, home improvements and new cars - all the things we weren't able to do before. It means a lot."
The Lucky 13 Syndicate members are: Mark Waters, Karen Taylor, Debbie Fraser, Sima Penikaite, Kayleigh Davies, Steven Alexander, Catherine Jones, Keren Jackson, Sabrina Lindsay, Ginnie Brewster, Tanya Owen and Eddie Owen. One member of the syndicate has chosen to remain anonymous.
The winning ticket was bought from the Co-operative petrol station in Spalding. The syndicate's EuroMillions Millionaire Maker winning code on Friday 16th January was LJZ103039.
The National Lottery changes the lives of winners like Mark and his colleagues as well as helping communities across the UK - players raise, on average, over £33m every week for National Lottery-funded projects.
The National Lottery makes grants, funding projects across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors including improvements to South Kesteven Leisure Centre.