East Linton Facebook lottery syndicate wins £1.1m

Gary Schei celebrates his win. Pic: PA
Gary Schei celebrates his win. Pic: PA
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A syndicate of people set up via Facebook has scooped more than £1.1 million in a EuroMillions draw.

The 38 people from around the country are each receiving at least £21,213 after their success in the Mega Friday draw on February 27.

Picture: National Lottery

Picture: National Lottery

The syndicate, known as “Gary’s Players”, was set up more than two-and-a-half years ago by 47-year-old Gary Schei, of East Linton in East Lothian.

The finance manager had four shares in the syndicate, netting him £84,852.

He said: “It’s great to win and I think most of the money will go towards the mortgage, although there may be a little treat or two. I have a nine-year-old daughter so I think a holiday may be on the cards, but we’ll have to wait and see.

“Others in the syndicate are slightly more impulsive than me; one lady went out and bought herself her dream motorbike - a pink Harley-Davidson - while another winner sent me a picture of their credit card that they had cut up into pieces.

“The win really has made such a difference to so many people, it’s fantastic.”

Mr Schei previously decided that playing would be more enjoyable if he did so as part of a group and so sent all his friends and family on Facebook a message inviting them to join the syndicate.

He said: “The syndicate includes friends and family from far and wide - my partner Amanda, my mother, two sisters, a few neighbours, old school friends, golf buddies, friends and family of my friends - it’s a huge network of people dotted all over the country, most of whom have never even met each other but who are all in some way connected to me.

“Hopefully one day in the not too distant future we’ll all be able to get together and celebrate.”

In addition to the £1,103,080 EuroMillions win, the syndicate has enjoyed some luck over the years with 79 smaller wins.

Mr Schei told how he got a variety of different reactions from his friends and family when he informed them of his latest win.

He said: “As it was Saturday not everyone had checked their emails, so I started calling round.

“It was hilarious, I got everything from screaming, tears, complete disbelief and stunned silence. It was so nice to be able to bring joy to so many people.

“One member had bought shares for his parents so they were amazed to find out they had over £40,000 coming their way.”

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