A group of rugby fans who scooped more than £1.7 million on a lottery syndicate left their winning ticket on top of a fridge for more than a month before discovering their new found fortune.
In the hectic run up to Christmas the Warrington Wolves' supporters did not have time to check the ticket and were unaware that they had a scooped the Lotto win of £1,758,997.
The six former work colleagues, from Warrington, Cheshire, have each banked £293,166 after they matched six numbers on the December 7 draw.
Syndicate leader Julie Phillips said: "With Christmas being so busy I had just not checked the last ticket we bought.
"It was just sitting on top of the fridge in our kitchen.
"It was only because I was in Warrington shopping and I walked past the kiosk where I normally buy our tickets that I decided to check. I had put the ticket in my bag before I went out in case I passed anywhere to check the numbers.
"But just as I got to the front of the queue, the machine stopped working. I was about to walk away when the assistant managed to get it working again.
Everyone in the queue started to cheer and I just walked away calmly joking 'you may see me in the papers next week as a lottery winner'."
Ms Phillips, 49, said she went home but forgot about the ticket and started to do household chores before remembering to make the telephone call.
"When the lady on the end of the phone confirmed I really had won I just could not believe it," she said.
"I just went silent. I thought initially it was £17,000 and she had to tell me about three times it was the jackpot and £1,700,000. I just didn't believe it was true.
"I immediately got my son to call one of the other syndicate members to ask her to come round straight away. As soon as I came off the phone I called the other girls and everyone came to my house. There was a mixture of emotions and lots of tears but we soon opened a bottle of champagne - and then celebrated with an Indian takeaway."
The syndicate also includes Joan Holliday, 67, Anne Jones, 63, Sharon Heaton, 44, and Christine Cooper, 66. One of the winners has chosen to remain anonymous.
The friends, who met while working at Norbert Dentressangle, have since retired with the exception of Ms Heaton, who still works at the transport and freight company.
The women, who all support the same rugby league team, have been playing Lotto every week with the same numbers since it launched, a Camelot spokeswoman said.
Their syndicate ticket had six lines of numbers - one chosen by each of the players. The winning line, chosen by Ms Phillips, was: 10, 12, 17, 28, 30 and 42.
As well as scooping a share of the jackpot, the syndicate also won a further £25 with one of their other lines.
When asked what they will do with their winnings, Ms Phillips said she is planning on paying for her son, Jack, 20, to study for a masters in sport performance analysis, Ms Holliday wants to invest in new carpets and Ms Jones plans to visit her son who lives in Australia.
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