Jackpot for school caterers

Winners, L-R Janice Ginn, Carol Beal, Gary Beal, Coris Bondsfield and Laura Busby Photo: National Lottery

A syndicate of five ‘dinner ladies’ from Brighton have won a jackpot of £2,147,580 in the Lotto draw on 29th December 2012. The four ladies and one gentleman are celebrating the lucky start to 2013 .

The syndicate of work colleagues came together around 18 months ago. Coris Bondsfield buys the ticket for the group at a local National Lottery retailer and checks the previous week results in her local paper. The day of the win, she swapped the weekly routine to discover the life-changing results.

She said: "Bizarrely I don’t normally check the numbers until I get the local paper each week, but for this draw I was tidying up some paperwork while my son was doing his homework. Amongst the recycling and pizza offers I found the play slips and decided to check them there and then. I checked the two lines I play with my husband but there was nothing, then the slip with three lines on, again nothing but when I started on the final slip the numbers just kept coming. I wrote the numbers down in numerical order and saw three matched, then four, then five. When it started to dawn on me what was happening, I had to ask my son to read them all back to me. We both sat there completely stunned until I found my voice again and simply said, ‘we’ve won’.”

Coris called her syndicate colleagues and shared the good news with her husband.

I called Carol, my manager and one of the syndicate. She’d been ill with a terrible bout of flu and couldn’t understand why I had called her until a few minutes into the call I told her we had won.

I had no idea how much it was at this point and she thought I was kidding. When I then called Camelot I was still in a state of shock and said to the advisor, ‘we have done it’, it was an amazing feeling."

– Coris Bondsfield, syndicate winner

The syndicate, who are a tightknit group of friends, all re-grouped at Coris’s house to celebrate the win over a bottle of champagne.

The syndicate members have a range of plans with the win. Coris said a Jack Russell puppy for her son would probably be top of the list, along with a new shed and a holiday in South Africa. Janice Ginn plans to finally buy a house after years of renting. Laura Busby is looking forward to a family holiday to Florida. Carol Beal will be taking her granddaughter to DisneyWorld. Gary Beal who is Carol’s son, will be able to get on the property ladder.

The syndicate of five, who each banked £429,516, are undecided regarding their next steps. One member said leaving the children at Balfour Primary School would be hard, so they might continue as Lotto winning dinner ladies. Their winning numbers were 6, 8, 31, 37, 40 and 48.