Belfast Telegraph

HCL work pals scoop share in £2.3m Lotto jackpot

By Clare Weir

A greyhound, a trip to Lapland and a new house — that’s what staff at an Armagh call centre are hoping to splash their cash on after scooping over three-quarters of a million pounds in the National Lottery.

It was third time lucky for the staff at the HCL call centre, who started their syndicate just two weeks ago — and now each of them has pocketed £155,306 after one of their five tickets hit the Lotto jackpot last Wednesday.

Theirs was one of three winning tickets that shared a UK jackpot of £2,329,590, with the local quintet picking up £776,530.

Dad-of-two Greg Mallon (36), a manager at the centre, said the win came as a boost during difficult economic times.

“We all realise just how lucky we are. Many people are facing uncertainties and the win will obviously give us peace of mind.

“We have worked together and have been friends for five years, but it was only two weeks ago that we decided to start the syndicate. Up to then we had individual flutters and some of us had won now and again — but nothing on this scale. We all think it’s a terrific amount of money to win — the right amount to make a difference to us all while keeping our feet on the ground.”

Each syndicate member picked their own numbers for the Wednesday and Saturday draws and manager Brendan McLaughlin’s combination came up.

“I picked my girlfriend's birthday, the date on which we met, along with my birthday and my sister’s birthday,” said Brendan.

“The other two numbers were picked at random.”

Kenny Fong, trainer Gillian Greer and telephone operator Declan Mallon make up the rest of the syndicate.

Greg and Declan Mallon, who are not related, now plan to buy a greyhound to race, while Gillian will fund a Christmas trip to Lapland for her four children.

Brendan plans to buy a house and Kenny will invest some “for a rainy day”.

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