A BERWICK lottery syndicate is celebrating after scooping a £1 million Euromillions jackpot.
The 31-strong West Street Lottery Syndicate - made up of local shop workers and Berwick Rotary Club members - each won £32,250 in Friday’s draw.
They were presented with their winnings at a photocall organised by lottery operator, Camelot, at Berlino’s Steakhouse yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.
Syndicate leader Jim Gladstone said: “I telephoned everyone over the weekend and the reaction has ranged from sheer disbelief to huge excitement.
“It’s a big win and even though it’s split 31 ways it’s still a significant sum of money so everyone is delighted.”
It was only on Saturday morning when Jim went to get the ticket scanned at Morrisons that he realised they had won - he just didn’t know how much.
“I initially thought we’d won £10.40 from the numbers draw but then the shop assistant handed me another ticket with a phone number on it to check how much we’d won,” explained Jim.
“She said she had no idea how much it was but it must be quite an amount because Morrisons can only pay out so much over the counter.
“So I came home and phoned Camelot who checked the ticket with me and it turned out that it had won the Millionaire’s Raffle - a free draw into which your ticket is automatically entered - which I’m told, based on ticket sales, was an eight million to one chance!”
The winning code, a unique combination of three letters and six numbers which ensures no two tickets have the same selection, was DGD218934.
After getting over the shock, he set about the task of telling his fellow syndicate members.
“I managed to get most of them on Saturday but a few were out and about or away on holiday so some didn’t get to know until Sunday,” he said.
“It’s fair to say my phone has been red hot these past few days!”
The syndicate was formed about four years ago when the Euromillions draw was really taking off.
“It was the idea of one of the staff at Toni’s Steakhouse,” said Jim. “She had noticed these enormous sums of money being paid out and suggested that we should get a syndicate together.
“Initially it was just a few of the staff and some of the rotary club members because that’s where we hold our weekly meetings but more and more people in rotary and elsewhere on West Street got interested and joined the scheme.
“At one stage there were actually more than 31 in the syndicate but a few dropped out. I suppose they’ll be regretting that now.”
Euromillions is a European lottery that takes place twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday evenings.
The Millionaire Raffle was introduced to give one lucky UK player a guaranteed £1 million.
When a player buys a Euromillions ticket, as well as being entered into the main draw, they are automatically entered into a separate UK-only draw.