Hartlepool lottery syndicate bowled over by £343,643 win

Philip and Ann Quinn, Joanne Lightowler, Mark Squirrel, John Wells, Michael Broome, Reggie Cuthbert-Smith, Colin Facchini and John Brown.
Philip and Ann Quinn, Joanne Lightowler, Mark Squirrel, John Wells, Michael Broome, Reggie Cuthbert-Smith, Colin Facchini and John Brown.

A lottery syndicate from Hartlepool have been ‘bowled over’ after ‘scoring’ a £343,643 win from the Lotto.

The nine-strong syndicate, aptly named League Bowlers, matched five numbers and the bonus ball in the draw on Saturday, May 9, to pocket over £38,000 each.

I couldn’t believe it

Philip Quinn

The team, which includes seven keen amateur bowlers, who play for Mill House Bowls Club in Hartlepool, found out they had won when syndicate leader and club steward, Philip Quinn, 70, checked the tickets the day after the draw.

Philip and his wife Ann Quinn, 66; teaching assistant Joanne Lightowler, 43; carer, Mark Squirrel, 35; metal worker, John Wells, 46, warehouse operator; Michael Broome, 46, oil worker; Reggie Cuthbert-Smith , 70; Colin Facchini, 56; and John Brown, 65, who have all been playing as part of a syndicate since 1994, were over the moon when they heard the good news.

“I couldn’t believe it!” said Philip. “As soon as it was confirmed, I called everyone to let them know. Some of the lads were that shocked by the news that they had to take the rest of the day off!”

After verifying the numbers online, Philip rang Camelot to be told they were indeed in possession of a winning ticket.

He added: “As you can imagine, we were very protective of the actual ticket. I don’t think we slept for worrying we’d lose it! Ann kept it under her pillow the whole time.”

Although few definitive plans have been made, all of the syndicate members are looking forward to spending their winnings, with travel at the top of the priority list.

Mark Squirrel, whose brother lives in Australia, has already booked a flight to go and visit him, and Michael Broome has ambitious plans to travel around India.

“I’m not sure what Ann and I will spend the money on yet,” added Philip, “Probably a holiday or two and maybe a new kitchen. What we’re most looking forward to though is the financial freedom. The win won’t change any of us – we’re all still going to stay in work, stay bowling and stay playing the lottery every week – but without any financial stress hanging over our heads.”

Looking back on the circumstances of the win, Philip and Ann believe the news to have come at a particularly poignant time – on what would have been the birthday weekend of Ann’s mother. “She always dreamed of winning the lottery. One of her big ambitions for the family was to know that everyone in the family was taken care of financially. She would have been so delighted with this win and loved all the fuss and celebration,” said Philip.

The winning Lotto numbers on Saturday, May 9, were 5, 17, 22, 31, 40, 48 and the bonus ball was 18. The winning ticket was purchased in Morrisons in Hartlepool.