A syndicate of Carlisle bus drivers and their company secretary is celebrating today after scooping a £1m UK Millionaire Maker win.
The 10-strong syndicate, Plan B, who all work for Stagecoach, will each bank £100,000 after their ticket matched the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker code in the draw on April 16.
And they said today although the news is still sinking in, they all have big plans for their winnings, ranging from new cars and paying off mortgages, to treating the family and splashing out on camper vans to make the most of the Great British staycation boom.
The syndicate, whose ages range from 30 to 65, are all based at the Stagecoach Carlisle bus depot and include Kenneth Devlin, Sherry Haughin, Kevin Davidson, David Taylor, Darren Robson, Philip Dunn, Les Kirkaldy, Scott Janczuk, John Nunn and company secretary Susan Kilgour.
No retirement plans
None of them, despite some being close to retirement, have any plans to stop driving just yet.
Kevin, 50, said, “This is a life-changing sum of money for every single one of us and we all have different plans.
“Some of the syndicate initially thought they may retire – but then decided against it. We all love our jobs – some of us were even back at work the day we found out we had won. None of us would dream of cancelling our shifts – we think too much of our customers to do that and would never want to let anyone down.”
Kevin, who has three children and four grandchildren, said treating the family is top of his shopping list, together with just simply “enjoying life!”
Kevin, who has been a bus driver for 16 years, added, “This money will significantly change my life and just enable me to live more comfortably.
“It takes any financial worries away.”
The Plan B syndicate – aptly named because no one could think of a name – so they just went with a “Plan B” – started eight years ago.
The syndicate has banked lots of smaller wins which they generally save up for each Christmas for some additional spending money – but never anything as significant as this.
David, 50, the syndicate leader, always buys the ticket online and always chooses a lucky dip line.
He said: “This way if I ever forgot to buy a ticket I know we would be safe.”
It was the day after the draw, on April 17, that Kevin noticed he had three missed calls on his phone from David.
He explained, “We have a group chat and my phone just started to ping and I noticed I also had three missed calls.
“I called David back and he just said, Kevin I need you to check our ticket I think we may have won and won big.
“He sent me a photograph of the ticket to my phone and I was actually quite calm at this point and checked the ticket carefully. When I realised we had won I couldn’t quite believe it.
“You always hear of people winning The National Lottery but you just think it will never happen to you!
“We then let everyone know on the group chat and I don’t think the phone stopped pinging all day. Everyone was just totally shocked that something as amazing as this had happened to us!”
And Kevin says the syndicate has no plans to stop now and already has their ticket bought for this Friday’s EuroMillions draw.