The 13-strong syndicate, who work at the manufacturer’s soups and sauces factory in West Marsh Road, Spalding, marked their win with a champagne photo-call reception yesterday (January 22).
The group struck gold on Friday January 16. Syndicate leader Mark Waters, aged 50, and fellow syndicate member Karen Taylor, who both work in Bakkavor’s soup packing department, were the first to realise they had won a day after the draw. But they decided to keep the win secret until they had checked it was true.
‘A roller coaster of a week’
“It’s been a roller coaster week!” said Waters. “Karen takes charge of the tickets and on Saturday morning I had a dozen or so missed calls from her. She usually picks me up on the way to work so my first thought was she’s had an accident. When I eventually spoke to her she screamed down the ‘phone – “I don’t know whether it’s true but I think we’ve won the lottery!”.
Even after checking the numbers online, neither believed the group had won. “We didn’t want to excite everyone until we’d spoken to [lottery organiser] Camelot, so we kept quiet until lunch time when we could take our break and make the call. It was the longest six hours of my life!”
Each member of the group will pocket £76,000 each. The syndicate first started playing only 10 weeks ago.
Other food winners
A Bakkavor spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We know 13 employees from our site in Spalding has won this prize as part of a syndicate. We are happy for them but as this is a personal matter, we cannot add anything further.”
The win does not mean the syndicate will all give up work but at least the winners will be able to buy those things we’ve wanted but have not been able to afford, said Waters. He planned to spend his winnings on a new lawn mower and a holiday in Barbados to attend a friend’s birthday.
‘A dream come true’
“This is a dream come true for many of us, and we’ll be making the most it by treating the family to nice holidays, home improvements and new cars – all the things we weren’t able to do before,” said Waters.
The Lucky 13 Syndicate members are: Mark Waters, Karen Taylor, Debbie Fraser, Sima Penikaite, Kayleigh Davies, Steven Alexander, Catherine Jones, Keren Jackson, Sabrina Lindsay, Ginnie Brewster, Tanya Owen and Eddie Owen. One member of the syndicate has chosen to remain anonymous.
The winning ticket was bought from the Co-operative petrol station in Spalding. The syndicate’s EuroMillions Millionaire Maker winning code on Friday 16th January was LJZ103039.
The National Lottery raises more than £33M every week for National Lottery-funded projects. In Lincolnshire alone, for example, the lottery has made 5,889 grants, funding projects across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors.