Life changing

Lucky plant pot grows £1M for pub syndicate

A pub syndicate and group of life-long friends from Saltburn-by-the-Sea have won £1M thanks to a lucky plant pot. The ticket was left in the pot for three weeks before it was checked and delivered a life changing win for the seven syndicate members.

Named after the pub where they all either work or drink, The Queens Syndicate’s tickets were all bought by Steven Raw. He kept them in his lucky plant pot in his kitchen. The syndicate were unaware for three weeks that they had shared £1M until Steven checked the ticket and discovered the win.

Steven, 38, who is a steel fixer, said, “I put this ticket in a plant pot in my kitchen for safe keeping. We have had a few small wins in the past and we all hoped one day we would win £1M.”

“You have won big!”

With an appeal launched locally to find the missing ticket-holder Steven caught sight of his ticket on his way out to the shops and finally decided to see if it was a winner. He explains.

“When the lady behind the counter said: “You have won big here!” I just said to her: “Don’t be silly!” And she replied saying: “No, really, it is a big winning ticket.”

Not able to believe what he was hearing Steven rushed home to call syndicate leader and his childhood friend, Rachel Henderson. She immediately called The National Lottery Line and it was only after the win was confirmed that it all started to sink in.

“When Rachel told me it really was true and everything had been confirmed by Camelot, we were both just jumping up and down with joy. Rachel then had the fantastic job of calling all of the other syndicate members to tell them the good news.”


The syndicate won during Mega Week so were one of six winners of £1M plus a dream trip to a private island in the Seychelles. They chose the cash alternative to the Mega Week experience, and also won £5 on another line so won a grand total of £1,093,805. This means each member of the syndicate banked £156,257.

Rachel, 43, who is a secretary said, “I think everyone is still in shock. It is all just so surreal. We cannot believe this has happened to us. Everyone is still trying to take in the fact that we really have won this amazing sum of money. It is really going to make all of our lives so much more comfortable.”


Landlady at The Queen, and Rachel’s mum, Joan Fawcett, 61, is one of the winners and intends to use her share of the winnings to re-upholster the pub. Other syndicate members include Rachel’s sister, Rebecca Caird, 40, a barmaid at The Queen and lifelong friend, Emma Oxendale, 32, who also works at the pub.

Steven added, “It is just wonderful to think that all of us are so close £ we are all like family – even if we are not related we are the closest of friends and have been for most of our lives.”

New lease of life

For Steven, who has a three year old daughter with his partner, the win will enable him to get back on the property ladder.

“We moved into rented accommodation just so we could have a larger house for our little girl and more room for when we expand our family. We never thought we would be able to get back on to the property ladder – or we thought it would be a long time.

“This win has changed all of this and given my family a new lease of life.”

The Queens Syndicate bought their winning ticket in Saltburn-by-the-Sea and say they have no intention of stopping playing. Steven said, “I have already bought our ticket for this week and it is in the plant pot to hopefully bring us even more good luck. I will definitely not be leaving it as long to check this time though.”

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