TEN lifelong friends who scooped a £200,000 lottery win were unaware of their windfall for a week – because one of the syndicate members didn’t get round to checking the ticket.
Tony Fallon, aged 66, gave the winning slip to pal Roy Ferguson, 67, who took it to the newsagents where he was given the good news.
Fellow syndicate member Joe Worthington, 70, said: “We all went out and Roy announced it to the rest of us!”
The group – which also includes Ken Cheetham, 67, Barry Briggs, 68, Cyril Viney, 67, Alan Marshall, 66, Geoff Shakespeare, 70, his younger brother Les, 64, plus another pal who doesn’t want the publicity – won on the Health Lottery.
Joe, a retired domestic appliances engineer, said they are ‘over the moon’ after striking lucky in the weekly draw.
He said the group, who live in and around Maltby in Rotherham, have known each other since childhood.
“We’ve known each other all our lives,” said Joe, a dad-of-one from Hooton Levitt.
“We played football together as teenagers, drunk together as youths in the pubs around Maltby, now we play golf together and sometimes meet up on a Friday.
“We put a couple of pounds on different lotteries each time.
“This time we did a lucky dip on the Health Lottery and it’s proved the best of them all – it only needs five numbers.”
The friends cracked open the bubbly, then toasted their success with drinks at The Lumley Arms pub in Maltby, and Joe said that the announcement was met with a ‘good reaction’ from everyone.
“We’re all aged from 64 to 70 and most of us are retired, so this has come at a nice time.”
The £200,000 will be split equally, meaning each syndicate member will pocket a £20,000 share.
“It’s a nice amount just to top everything up,” Joe said.
“People are doing different things with their winnings but I’m going to buy a car with mine.
“I’ve got a Volkswagen Golf so I’ll probably get another VW.”
Joe said his wife Jennifer, 67, was also ‘very happy’ about his win.
“All our families are happy about it, a lot of us have got grandchildren and some of us are going to treat their kids,” he added.
“It isn’t the biggest win you can have but it’s still a good amount.”
The Health Lottery raises money for good causes by using a rotating system of ‘society lotteries’ which cover different areas of the UK.