Gallery: Lottery winners celebrate £2.6m haul

A CLEANER whose choice of numbers made her and her co-workers £2.6million richer has told how “there's always money in dirt”.

Laurence Cawley

A CLEANER whose choice of numbers made her and her co-workers £2.6million richer has told how “there's always money in dirt”.

Earlier this week it was revealed how a 23-strong Lottery syndicate at Havebury Housing Partnership had scooped the jackpot.

Today some of the syndicate members revealed what it was like to win more than £100,000 each.

The lucky numbers - 14, 17, 30, 37, 38 and 41 - were chosen by 57-year-old housekeeper Jill Brown. The mother-of-one, who became a cleaner after she was made redundant from her previous job as a diamond cutter, celebrated the win with a glass of fizzy apple juice, said she was out with her husband shopping in Newmarket when she learned the news.

“All I got was this woman getting really excited and all I heard was 'Lucy, Lottery'. She was saying we had won the Lottery.”

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“There's always money in dirt as they say,” she said. “I love being a cleaner. We all work incredibly hard and the money will mean a great deal to every single one of us.”

Asked whether she now wishes she'd kept her numbers to herself and taken home the entire jackpot, Mrs Brown said: “It is nice that everybody has got a bit of the share. That is lovely and it is fun sharing it all out.”

Explaining her technique for winning the Lottery, Mrs Brown said: “I just went der, der, der and chose the numbers. It was a mixture of people's ages.”

Syndicate organiser, 39-year-old Lucy Czilinsky said nobody was planning to leave their current jobs with Havebury as a result of the win.

Most, she said, were planning to pay off their mortgages and treat themselves a little.

Mrs Czilinsky compared the moment with learning they had scooped the jackpot with “heart failure”.

“After I had opened the winning email, I can't describe my feelings when I saw online that we'd won such a large amount of money.

“I think I just stared at my computer screen for a long time in disbelief.

“After a few minutes, I composed myself and started to contact other syndicate members to share in the good news.

“A lot of people have said they are going to pay off the mortgage. Everyone has been really supportive and there's been a real buzz about the office. It was a great feeling.”

The youngest winner, 26-year-old Louise Prior, from Bury St Edmunds, only joined the housing association a few months ago, said: “I am still in shock and I can't quite believe it. We are going on a family holiday next year to Florida - I've got a three-year-old nephew and he will love it.

“We've just bought a house and we can now do all things with it that we dreamed of.”

Rent advisor Rob Squirrell said he was planning to go on a cruise with his winnings. “We all love Jill. But we love Jill even more now she picked up the winning numbers. We are all very close, we are like a family.”

It has also emerged that some Havebury workers had been members of the syndicate but had dropped out prior to the winning numbers being drawn on Saturday.

The winners said their non syndicate colleagues at work had been very supportive. As well as scooping the jackpot, the syndicate - called “Suffolk Lads and Lasses” - also won £100 by getting four matching balls.