Friends celebrate £1m lottery win

A group of friends from Shropshire have picked up a £1 million National Lottery jackpot – after almost forgetting to check their winning ticket.

Friends celebrate £1m lottery win

The syndicate members are owners of the mystery ticket that had remained unclaimed in the county since it was bought at the end of June.

But, after coverage in the Shropshire Star and on television, they checked their numbers and discovered they were in for a summer windfall. Draw organisers Camelot made a public appeal for the winners to come forward in Telford last week, warning the owners only had until Christmas Day to come forward or risk losing the cash.

Checked

But just days after the appeal was made, syndicate leader Lita Powney saw it – and immediately recognised the winning numbers.

She said: "I don't check my tickets that often and was watching the TV and saw Santa in his grotto, surrounded by winning numbers and thought to myself, 'I'm sure they are ours'."

Lita, who is married to Desmond and has four children, Rachel, Amanda, Sarah and John, asked her son-in-law Tim to check the numbers for her.

They checked online and decided to call Camelot immediately to stake the claim.

After confirming the win, Lita called the rest of the syndicate, who work at Hilton Brook House residential care home, near Bridgnorth, to tell them the good news.

She said no-one believed her and it took her "some time" in convincing the group of their new-found fortune of £1,045,504.

The seven-strong group, made up of Lita, Jenny Jones, Angela Orpe, Josie Bromley, Joyce Hopkins and Janice Head and a member who didn't want to be named, have been playing the lottery since it started but Lita said they had only previously won very small amounts.

There were originally nine in the syndicate, but when two left Lita took over the vacant two spaces and paid three lots every week. It means she gets three shares – just over £350,000 – while the remaining six members will pocket just over £116,000 each. Lita, 61, said she was going to spend the money on decorating her house, while other syndicate members plan to go on holiday or buy new cars.

Jenny Jones said the group had not decided yet how to celebrate their win but had made plans to go out together in the near future. She said: "It feels wonderful, I'm so happy for the girls and myself. We are now jackpot winners, I can't believe it."

The winning ticket was bought from Worfield Village Post Office & Store in Main Street, Worfield, near Bridgnorth. The winning numbers were 8, 12, 28, 30, 43 and 49.

National Lottery spokeswoman Jane Thomas said: "We're delighted that our appeal has helped find the missing jackpot winner and we'd like to take the opportunity to thank Santa and his elves for their help.

"It is an important reminder to all players to check their tickets – you could be walking round a millionaire and not even know."

Anyone who believes they have the winning ticket for any of the National Lottery draws within the 180-day deadline should call the National Lottery Line on 0845 910 0000.

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