When June Fraser turned up for duty at Motherwell’s Cleland Hospital a week past Saturday, there was an unusual addition to the NHS name badge on her nurse’s uniform.
Pinned to her garment was a coral-coloured sheaf of paper containing a distinctive nine-digit code - ZFCS80189. Neither she or her colleagues are likely to forget it in a hurry. It is, after all, paying for a raft of foreign holidays and new cars.
Ms Fraser and 14 of her fellow nurses were celebrating yesterday after winning £1 million in the Euromillions lottery, all for the meagre stake of just 50 pence a head.
The members of the so-called Winning Nurses syndicate stand to receive nearly £67,000 apiece after matching one of the two Millionaire Maker codes in the twice-weekly draw.
Although the windfall is modest compared to the multimillion pound wins of other lottery syndicates over the years, the nurses from North Lanarkshire are already planning how to spend their winnings.
First of all, though, they are set to remind their loved ones that their newfound fortunes have not changed them. In characteristically caring fashion, their first purchase will be a batch of cakes and treats for staff, patients and visitors at the hospital, which specialises in long-term care for elderly patients.
For Ms Fraser, in charge of checking the syndicate’s numbers each week, the realisation they have won is still sinking in.
“I checked the tickets using the National Lottery app on Saturday morning,” the 58-year-old said.
“I scanned the first one and it wasn’t a winner - I actually thought that was the ticket for Friday night’s draw and very nearly didn’t scan the second one as I thought it was for a future draw.
“When I did and it told me that we’d won £1m I thought the app must be broken, I couldn’t believe it. My first phone call was to my ward where I managed to get hold of two of the other members who were working.”
She added: “I phoned a few other members but I was just too hyper to call everyone at that point. I still went into work later that afternoon though.”
In all, 13 members of the 15-strong syndicate - Ms Fraser; Tracey Buckmaster, 29; Catherine Fisher, 54; Helen Gibson, 73; Carol Hamlyn, 59, Gail Harvie, 52; Margaret Hendry, 59; Ravi Joseph, 55; Rosemary McFarlane, 48; Maureen McGarry, 61; Anne McQueen, 57; Grace McSeveney, 62; and Marion Ritchie, 61 - decided to go public with the news.
The group have been playing together for the past three years, and their previous biggest win stood at £12. They bought their winning ticket for the 20 April draw from the Co-op store in Shotts’ Station Road.
While some members of the syndicate have earmarked holidays to Canada and Sri Lanka, with others intent on buying new cars and even a motorbike, the win will be transformative in other ways.
Carol Hamlyn, 59, is due to retire in November, and her finances meant she planned to work part-time to make ends meet. Now, however, she is free to do what she wants.
“This win will be life-changing for me,” she said. “I was going to have to keep doing a few shifts but now I have financial security, and I can also look after my four children and my three grandchildren.”