'Lend me a pound', says EuroMillions jackpot winner


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The Independent Online

One of 12 EuroMillions jackpot winners had to borrow a pound from his wife this morning to buy a paper, he said today.

Charlie Gillion, 65, was among 11 of the 12 Stagecoach bus drivers to celebrate their syndicate's £38 million win at the Best Western Rockingham Forest hotel in Corby, Northants, today.

A 12th who will share Friday's £38,034,639.70 jackpot declined to be identified today.

The win means each will see just over £3.1 million being deposited into their bank accounts.

Meanwhile the winners, all from Corby, declined to comment on reports that Hazel Loveday dropped out of the £2-a-week syndicate six months ago.

They said: "We all like Hazel, she's a good friend."

Jim Paton, 55, and brother-in-law Dave Mead, 54, along with Mr Gillion, said they had all handed in their notice to Stagecoach.

None of the syndicate due in work made it on Saturday, Camelot said.

When asked whether they would be getting on a bus again, they said "only as a passenger".

They said the news had only started to sink in today.

Mr Paton and Mr Mead said they were planning to take their families on holiday together.

They said: "It just means no stresses any more, no worries, our families are all sorted. It's a dream. No more worries about bills."

Meanwhile, father-of-four Alex Robertson, 57, said it was "life-changing" and he would be taking his 78-year-old mother to see her twin in Australia - but only when his new passport comes through.

Mr Robertson, who has 16 grandchildren, said: "She said she'd need to save up the money but I said you've no need to do now.

"I let my passport lapse as I never thought I'd be getting out of Corby again."

He said one of his sons had never been able to take his five children on holiday after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving with the Army in Bosnia.

He said they were registered carers and had been looking after him since he came home.

"I'll be giving them a bit of childhood they've never had."

Derek Wilson, 51, originally from Wishaw, Scotland, said he would be updating his Y-reg Rover 45 to an Audi and buying a new house.

"It's a little bit scary but it's sinking in slowly," he said.

All the winners said they planned to stay in touch and meet up on the day each year to celebrate.

Syndicate leader Chris Smith, 34, said: "We started the syndicate about three years ago and everyone chose a set of numbers - it's only £2 each in the pot every week.

"I always try to watch the draw show live, or record it, and check off all our numbers.

"On Friday my partner checked half our numbers and I checked the other half - she just passed the winning ticket over and paused the TV on the numbers.

"We kept looking at it and passing it between each other about four or five times.

"We couldn't really believe that they all matched."

The 11 members of the syndicate sharing their win today are Chris Smith, 34, John Noakes, 49, Stephen Derrick, 53, Dave Mead, 54, Charlie Gillion, 65, Jim Paton, 55, Neil Tayton, 58, Alex Robertson, 57, Ally Spence, 57, Charlie Connor, 40 and Derek Wilson, 51.

The winning lottery ticket was bought from Premier Stores in Boden Close, Corby, and the numbers were 3, 4, 12, 23, 50 and Lucky Stars 4 and 7.

Mr Smith said: "Times have been very tough for everyone - we were facing up to shifts being cut, which can really hit you in the pocket.

"This win means so much and is life-changing for everybody - people can live their dreams and help out their families.

"This couldn't have happened to a better bunch of blokes.

"We are all friends as well as colleagues and I am happy that we have all won together."

Stagecoach denied reports that drivers' hours had been cut.

A spokeswoman for Stagecoach said: "There has never been any intention to reduce drivers' contracted hours at Corby depot.

"In common with all bus operators, it is not unusual for us to make changes to timetables from time to time.

"As a result, there can be changes to the bus services that drivers operate on but there has never been any plan to reduce the contracted hours that our drivers work."