Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Joy for Lotto 'Magnificent Seven'

The 'Magnificent Seven' syndicate
The group only formed the syndicate four months ago

A group of office workers dubbed the "Magnificent Seven" are celebrating after winning a share of the UK's biggest ever lottery prize.

The IT workers for Hewlett Packard in Liverpool, scooped £45,570,835.50 after forming the Euromillions syndicate four months ago.

Here they describe their reactions and how they each plan to spend their £6.5m.

JOHN WALSH, 57, SYNDICATE LEADER

"I couldn't sleep on Sunday morning so ended up checking the numbers on Teletext at 3am.

"I couldn't believe it when all our numbers came up. I had to wake up my wife, son and daughter so they could double check I wasn't dreaming."

The news was perfect timing for John and his wife, Margaret, who was made redundant from her job at Woolworths in January.

He added: "It wasn't a great start to the year but it is certainly looking up for 2010. We are now looking forward to a fabulous Christmas, hopefully starting with a family trip to New York, which is one of our favourite places, for a spot of Christmas shopping."

ALEX PARRY, 19

"I have a big family with a mum, a stepdad, two sisters, a brother, a stepbrother and a stepsister so I will be making sure they all have a nice Christmas.

"I have been saving up for the past year to buy myself a car so I think the first thing I will do is treat myself to a blue Vauxhall Corsa, in support of my favourite football team - Everton FC."

JAMES BENNETT, 28

"I honestly can't remember how I felt when I heard the news that we had won. It is a complete blank.

"I have never owned a house and always rented so our first priority is to buy our own place. We have already been searching on the internet and it is the most amazing feeling to be able to click the button which says 'No maximum price'.

"It is hard to believe that these dream homes we are looking at are now in our price range.

"The best thing is knowing I can now support my children for the rest of their lives - there is simply no better feeling than that."

SEAN CONNOR, 32

"When I saw John was calling me on a Sunday I really feared the worst and thought it must be to tell me we had been made redundant.

"Instead he told me we had won the lottery. I couldn't believe it. It has always been my dream to travel to South America so I'm planning a trip there as soon as possible.

"I am also hoping to get a box at Goodison Park so I can watch the mighty Blues in style."

EMMA CARTWRIGHT, 23,

"My dad, Barry, was made redundant from his job with General Motors earlier this year so this couldn't have come at a better time for us.

"I'll be helping out my family and also paying off my mortgage. It is just the best early Christmas present I could have hoped for."

CERI SCULLION, 35,

"My mother passed away earlier this year and she loved to do the lottery so I am convinced she had something to do with me winning.

"It is very sad that I can't share this with her but I know she would have been so happy for me and the family.

"I was in the beautician's having a manicure when John called me with the news. The whole salon was jumping around celebrating with me, it was amazing.

"The salon owner called me up afterwards and asked if I wanted to buy her business from her. I'm not sure if that is exactly what I had in mind for my winnings.

"Instead I think I'll buy a nice holiday in Menorca and maybe even a BMW."

DONNA RHODES, 39

"I didn't have any holidays left and was due to work all over Christmas so the best news is I won't have to any more - instead I can hand in my notice.

"My mother Gladys is in her 70s and is the sole carer for my brother who suffers from MS, so we are hoping to buy a big house so they can come to live with us and we can help look after him as well.

"We'd also love a little holiday home in Malta."



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