Jubilant office workers from Liverpool who

scooped £45m in the mega jackpot in

Friday’s Euromillions have given up their jobs

to allow recently laid-off colleagues to return

to work.


The seven-strong syndicate won a share of a total £90m in the UK’s biggest ever lottery prize after entering the rollover using a lucky dip. They have all since handed in their notices to Hewlett Packard at BT’s Royal House on Wood Street, where they worked in IT earning around £15,000 per year.


John Walsh, 57, bought the ticket that has seen each of the self named ‘Magnificent Seven’ claim £6.5m. He said: “I couldn’t believe it when all our numbers came up. I had to wake up my wife and son and daughter so they could double check I wasn’t dreaming.”


The youngest winner, Alex Parry, 19, only finished sixth form just over a year ago and thought the phone call about the win was one of bad news. She said: “I thought I was going to lose my job or something because loads of people have lost their jobs, so I was a bit nervous when it came up as work ringing on a Sunday when we’re not even open.”


With her new found wealth, Alex plans to go to university, which she once thought she would never afford. She said: “I think if I go to university I’ll do a business course or history. I might want to have my own business, not for a few years though. I didn’t want all the debts from it but I wanted to do something for myself and be acknowledged for something.”


Donna Rhodes, 39, can’t believe how much money they have all received. She said: “Combined wages now, we would have to work 150 years to earn what we’ve won. I’m not even going to live half of that. I was penniless, I was £270 overdrawn, I had £130 left of a £400 overdraft and now I’m like, oh my god, I don’t owe anybody anything.”


James Bennett, 28, was manager to the other six and sees leaving his job as a positive step for the company. He said: “There have been some redundancies, but because we’re leaving, some of those people who have been made redundant are being brought back. The idea is not to leave the company and the bosses who have supported us over the years in the lurch. So when everything has died down, we’ll speak to our bosses, see what we can do to help.”


The seven lucky winners from Liverpool are John Walsh, 57, James Bennett, 28, Sean Connor, 32, Alex Parry, 19, Emma Cartwright, 23, Ceri Scullion, 35 and Donna Rhodes, 39.


The other £45.5m has been claimed by a married couple from Newport in South Wales.


Record lottery winners give back their jobs

By Louisa Collington & Victoria J Fode, JMU Journalism TV

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Excitement: The seven winners celebrate with champagne; YouTube: JMU Journalism TV reports


Cate Attwood talks to a colleague of the Euromillions winners