Syndicate of 69 Swansea ambulance workers shares £1m lottery jackpot


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The Independent Online

A 69-strong syndicate of ambulance staff taking a share of a £1 million lottery windfall have insisted that work is more important than even a £143 million jackpot win.

Dozens of Swansea paramedics and ambulance service staff are to receive an extremely welcome £14,492 payout after their numbers came up last week.

The EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle draw coincided with the official London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony on Friday.

Syndicate leader Andy Vaughan, 54, described waking his wife at 6.00am on Saturday after discovering the windfall win as he got ready for work.

"You can image how delighted she was about that," a jubilant Mr Vaughan said.

"But I needed someone else to tell."

The winning syndicate is made up of paramedics and other emergency service staff based at five stations across Swansea, south Wales.

While some might think the individual cash wins do not represent a life changing amount, Mr Vaughan insisted that for many it was.

"People have said that £14,492 is not a life changing sum but for those who are due to get married or are buying a car on finance, that is not true," he said.

"These are hard times with the economy and some winners have been in tears finding out that life will be a little easier.

"There are a lot of people who are over the moon this week - morale is sky high."

Staff not lucky enough to be members of the syndicate have also been generous in their congratulations, he added.

"To be honest, I think that even if we won the £143 million jackpot we would still be in to work the next day.

"These are jobs that we love."

Mark Tonkin, 35, who works in high dependency services (HDS), said he planned to save the cash for the time being.

"Although I imagine my wife might well have different ideas," he laughed.

Sarah Hounsell, 36, another HDS worker, and syndicate member, added: "It's very boring but I will probably get some home improvements done and share it with my husband and my boys."

The winning syndicate, lead by Mr Vaughan, a grandfather and father-of-three, was set up 17 weeks ago.

Each of the 69 members pay £2 a week for the Friday EuroMillions draw, with £49 being their biggest previous win.

Celebrations continue next Thursday when all the syndicate members and dozens more paramedics break open the bubbly to toast the win at a local club.