The Catering Girls from Neath Port Talbot win amazing jackpot
A syndicate of six catering staff at Neath Port Talbot Hospital are celebrating sharing a giant EuroMillions jackpot of £25,476,778.30. With one member already retired, the other five immediately took the decision to quit so they could start to enjoy their life changing win.
‘The Catering Girls’ have been playing as a work syndicate for the last six years but it was Louise Ward, who only joined in October 2016, whose lucky numbers came up trumps. She revealed how the win almost never happened.
“I was actually thinking about stopping playing earlier in the year as I have been saving up for my wedding in March and needed the extra cash – imagine if I’d stopped, we’d never have won!”
Ultra-organised syndicate leader Julie Saunders asked her husband to go and buy the ticket on the day of the draw (Friday) as they were all working. The day after the draw (Saturday) they were visiting her father in a residential home and he told her just one ticket had won the jackpot. She said ‘it could be us as we haven’t checked yet’ – little did she know the ticket hidden in the usual spot in her living room cabinet was the winner.
Julie went home to check the numbers and called Camelot straight away, before then letting the other members know of their amazing win. When news started to sink in, they all decided that retiring from work was on the cards. “I’ve enjoyed working there for many years along with the rest of the syndicate, but now it is someone else’s turn to take on those roles. We will miss many of our colleagues as we have all worked there a long time, but this is the start of something new for us all,”
The six syndicate members have each won £4,246,129.72. Syndicate leader Julie Saunders, 56, was a catering assistant for 12 years. The mum and grandmother who lives in Port Talbot is desperate to go on holiday to Las Vegas as she has always loved Elvis.
Doreen Thompson, 56, who was also a catering assistant for 12 years, lives in Ystalyfera. The mum and grandmother to lots of grandchildren wants to go on holiday to Florida.
Louise Ward, 37, whose lucky number banked the big win, is engaged to be married in March. The mum of two, who lives in Port Talbot was a catering assistant for 12 years. She said, “I had 80 people on my wedding guest list and was trying to cut down on the numbers as it was too many. I can now have as many guests as I want!”
Jean Cairns, 73, was a catering supervisor for nearly 40 years before she retired from the hospital in 2016. From Briton Ferry, the mum of three is very excited about having the chance to go to Las Vegas and play on the slot machines.
Sian Jones, 54, from Baglan was a catering supervisor for 14 years. The mum and grandmother is still trying to decide what her first purchase will be as she hasn’t had time to think yet.
Julie Amphlett, 50, was a catering assistant for 32 years and lives in Neath. The mother of one says she wants to buy absolutely ‘everything’ – a new house, new handbags, new shoes...
The syndicate began playing together after chatting one Sunday morning when they were feeling lucky – both Jean and Julie felt they would ‘win big’ one day and maybe become millionaires. They play every Friday and bought their winning ticket from their local shop.
Julie said, “Dreams really do come true. This win is life-changing for us all and the size of the win is still sinking in. We are all so emotional but very, very happy.”
8th November 2017
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