"Magnificent 7" quit UK call center on lottery win

Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:25pm EST
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By Peter Griffiths

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Seven call center workers who will share Britain's biggest lottery prize with a couple from south Wales said on Tuesday they have already told their bosses that they are leaving.

The seven, who worked for U.S. computer company Hewlett Packard in Liverpool, won 45.5 million pounds in a syndicate that they only formed four months ago.

The winners, dubbed the "Magnificent Seven," said they had worked out it would have taken 150 years for their combined wages to match that sum.

"We have all handed in our notice," said James Bennett, one of the members of the group, who will each pocket 6.5 million pounds. "We all plan on leaving."

Syndicate leader John Walsh, 57, said he found out they had won at 3 a.m. on Sunday morning when he checked the EuroMillions numbers on Teletext after he couldn't sleep.

"I had to wake my wife, son and daughter so that they could double-check I was not dreaming," he told a news conference.

Walsh calmly rang other members of the group to tell them that they had "won a few thousand pounds," before he went into the office to collect the ticket and revealed the true amount.

Houses, cars and holiday homes topped their shopping lists.   Continued...

<p>Members of a syndicate that won a share of the EuroMillions lottery spray champagne following a news conference in Liverpool, northern England, November 10, 2009. Sean Connor (L-R), Emma Cartwright, Ceri Scullion, Alex Parry, James Bennett, Donna Rhodes and John Walsh will share the lottery prize, worth 91 million pounds ($153 million), with a couple from south Wales. REUTERS/Phil Noble</p>