Pub regulars' Lotto luck

PUBLISHED: 11:04 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

The Great Northern Inn Pub syndicate.

In beige shirt: syndicate leader and pub landlord John Slight.

9th March 2008

Photo copyright: Charlotte Wiig

The Great Northern Inn Pub syndicate. In beige shirt: syndicate leader and pub landlord John Slight. 9th March 2008 Photo copyright: Charlotte Wiig

Charlotte Wiig

THIRTEEN S a lucky number for these happy punters from a St Albans pub syndicate celebrating a Lotto win of almost a quarter of a million pounds. The members from The Great Northern Inn pub in London Road first formed their syndicate 13 years ago — and th

THIRTEEN'S a lucky number for these happy punters from a St Albans pub syndicate celebrating a Lotto win of almost a quarter of a million pounds.

The members from The Great Northern Inn pub in London Road first formed their syndicate 13 years ago - and this is the first big win they've had.

Syndicate leader and pub landlord John Slight, aged 48, and his partner Debbie Jenner, 39, are already planning a family holiday to Greece on their winnings.

And Debbie has ordered a brand new bright yellow Ford Focus Millennium.

She had apparently predicted the win to her son before he left for school on the morning of the draw but he replied: "I bet you a load of money we won't!"

John, who has had the pub for 23 years, said: "I was at home with Debbie and my Dad when our barman called to say we had won some money. I didn't believe him as we are always playing tricks on one another but I got my Dad to check the numbers on his computer just in case. I couldn't believe my eyes when I realised he was telling the truth. I was just standing in shock while Debbie was running round the room!

"No-one believed it when they heard we had won the Lottery. We'd only ever won the odd few quid here and there before. It only really sank in once we went to Camelot's regional centre and collected the cheque. As soon as we got back the celebrations began. None of us can stop smiling."

The syndicate has been playing Lotto every Wednesday and Saturday since the lottery began more than 13 years ago and had an unusual way of picking their numbers. As Lucky Dip tickets didn't exist when the lottery was first formed, the syndicate found their own way of randomly picking numbers through using a small, plastic bingo machine. As six balls left the little machine another line of Lotto numbers were created until the syndicate had 20 completed lines. The same numbers have been used ever since.

The lucky ticket was bought at the Londis and Post Office store on London Road. The group had five winning numbers and the bonus ball for the draw on February 27.

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