Checkout workers continue despite $14 million lottery win
Published: September 29, 2006 | 4860th good news item since 2003
For those lucky enough to scoop the Lotto jackpot it is usually a ticket to unbridled luxuries and a lifetime without work.
But for a group of checkout girls who won £7.5 million in Saturday night’s Superdraw, resigning is the last thing on their minds.
Instead, they have returned to their tills at Tesco and insist on remaining there for the foreseeable future, despite each pocketing £750,000.
Yesterday, as they celebrated their incredible win with a bottle of champagne the ladies spoke of their determination to continue with their part-time jobs.
Hilary Cox, a 60-year-old mother-of-three who has worked at the store in Sudbury, Suffolk, for the last 10 years, insisted: “I’ve got no plans to ditch and run from my job just yet.
“Our customers are marvellous. We all felt we had to come back because we love it here and we did not want to let our colleagues down. Between us we know a lot of them and we would all miss them if we left.
“They keep telling us that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of girls.”
Mrs Cox added: “It is too early to decide what to do in the long term. We’ve got to let it all sink in first. The win will undoubtedly make life easier – but it will not lead to major changes.
“All, but one of us, is nearing retirement age and are pretty level-headed. We still haven’t celebrated yet and I don’t think there is going to be any wild parties – but we might all go out for a meal together.”
The syndicate – made up of nine workers and one former employee – shared the £15 million jackpot with one other winner after matching the numbers 6, 26, 28, 35, 42 and 43.
The winning line was chosen by mother-of-three Avis King, 64, who selected her current and former house numbers and date of birth.
She said: “We are still up in the clouds and haven’t come down to earth yet. One of the other women was checking the lottery numbers on Saturday and realised my line had come back.
“When I was told I was in shock from head to foot and felt ill. We couldn’t stop the news spreading once we got to work. Word even spread to Woolworths. But by then the story had got twisted and they wrongly heard that it was the staff in the Tesco bakery who had won.”
The other winners in the syndicate include Brenda Cleverley, 59, Shirley Hall, 67, and Shelagh Matthews, 56. The remaining five declined any publicity.
Eight of the staff – all but one of them grandmothers – have since returned to work. The ninth member is currently abroad for her son’s wedding but is planning to return to work as usual next week.
Most of the women said they were making plans to pay off their mortgages whilst also looking to invest in home improvements and a few luxury holidays.
Mrs Matthews, a mother-of-four who has worked at the store for 11 years, said: “A few years ago my husband and I went to Florida and when we got back, he said that if we ever won the lottery we should take the children and grandchildren there.”
She is also planning to buy another car but insisted she would buy second-hand. She added: “I don’t want to be the first to put a scratch on a car.”
Her colleague, Mrs Hall, who is the oldest syndicate member, said she was planning to pay off her children’s mortgages with the win adding: “I only work a couple of mornings a week because I love the company of people here since my husband died last year. We are all so happy.”
The syndicate has been operating at the store for nine years. All the women pay £1 for a line of numbers each every week in Saturday’s draw.
Last night a Tesco spokeswoman said: “We obviously want to congratulate them on their good fortune. It is marvellous news.”