How lucky is your job? The National Lottery reveals the luckiest professions who have won big
What are the odds of you winning the lottery? Well depending on your profession - you could be in with a better chance than most.
A unique peek into The National Lottery's giant winner file today reveals the professions which have won the lottery the most times.
The database has shown that the luckiest profession are those working in the building trade.
A monumental 331 millionaire builders have been created since the first National Lottery draw in November 1994.
And hot on its trail are drivers who have accelerated to second place in the luckiest professions chart, with 193 millionaires created and more than 1,500 major prizes totalling over £750m picked up by bus drivers like Peter Lavery from east Belfast, cabbies and lorry drivers such as Les Scadding from South Wales who won £45 million back in 2009.
<<scroll down for the top 5 >>
Former bus driver Peter Lavery became one of Northern Ireland's best known National Lottery winners after parking an eye-watering £10,248,233 in his bank account on May 18, 1996.
Now a successful businessman, the National Lottery millionaire took a trip back in time with a visit to the lottery-funded Ulster Folk and Transport Museum to celebrate some good news for the driving profession.
Mr Lavery said: “Most people think ‘it could never happen to me’ but I’m living proof that it can happen to anybody at any time.
“It’s wonderful to see so many other drivers, and of course workers from all other professions, enjoying the good fortune that I did.
“I’ve certainly enjoyed my win which has helped create a better life for me and the people that are important to me. I’ve also invested my money wisely in a number of business ventures and plans are now at an advanced stage to build my own distillery at the historic Crumlin Road Gaol site in Belfast.”
But the building profession seems to be on a continual lucky streak as it has cemented an extraordinary fortune of major prize wins worth over £1.26 billion.
Lucky labourers who have built the foundations of a fantastic future for themselves include Strabane scaffolder Shane Woods who hit the jackpot when he won £100k on a scratchcard at the end of last year and Gareth Bull from Mansfield who scooped a staggering £40.6 million in January 2012.
In third place are secretaries and admin staff who have written up almost 2,000 major wins (1,947) worth over £840m.
They were followed by the manufacturing profession which clocks in with total winnings of over £615m and 176 millionaires, and then retail or shop assistants who bagged a whopping £500m with 146 millionaires created.
Many of Northern Ireland’s most recent winners have worked in the retail trade including Belfast’s Mary Hamilton, who worked for a furniture store before winning almost £13m playing Euromillions.
Simon Savage, a farm shop owner from Newry, scooped almost £1.8m in the Lotto draw, Lauren McLarnon who worked in a Belfast sandwich shop won £100k on a scratchcard and Strabane store owner Sacha Dolan won just over £76k on the Lotto.
The figures have been compiled from the secret winner database which lists the profession of every major National Lottery winner since 1994.
With more than 3,800 millionaires created so far, virtually every profession and job has held a giant cheque aloft or quietly banked a life-changing win.
From carers and social workers (1,049 big winners and 102 millionaires) to teachers (713 big winners and 62 millionaires) and farmers (£61m and 27 millionaires), all have their place on the unique database.
Journalists are categorised under Media and the small, but lucky, band of media folk have amassed 189 major wins including an impressive 16 millionaires.
A spokesman for the National Lottery said: “Builders have managed to cement their luck over the years but there are millionaire milestones across all professions from cleaners to teachers and secretaries to postmen.
"With six new millionaires made every week there is every chance these figures will change and your job will leap onto the list. But whatever your profession we can assure you the joy and amazement of receiving your giant cheque is just the same.”
How lucky is your job?
1. Builders/construction (331)
2. Drivers/transport (193)
3. Secretaries and admin staff (190)
4. Manufacturers (176)
5. Retail staff/shop assistants (146)