Fish workers net a cool million! –

Fish workers net a cool million! Published:  10 April, 2007

A GROUP of Hull fish workers are celebrating the biggest catch of their lives – a £1million plus Lotto jackpot win!

The ten-strong syndicate, who work at the W. Simpson Seafood factory in the city, reeled in an eye-watering £1,128,663 which will be split equal ways between them.

This means each person will receive £112,866 – but it is unlikely that many of them will give up the days jobs at the factory which employs just over 150 staff and supplies the Asda supermarket group with much of its seafood requirements. Most have said they will spend some of the money paying off part of their mortgages and on a new car and a holiday. But the remainder will go into the bank as a security for the future.

The amazing thing is that no-one knew they had cracked the jackpot until almost a week after the draw on March 24. The syndicate’s organiser, 28-year-old Chris Baker, had been holidaying in South Africa and did not realise he had the winning line until he got back from holiday.

He arrived at the fish plant after the holiday still suffering from jet lag and thinking it was just going to be another ordinary working day. But a check showed he had a winning ticket, but even then he could hardly believe his good fortune.

Chris, who bought the ticket from a local newsagent, told Lotto organiser Camelot: “I contacted Mark Lorenz at the factory, who is also a member of the syndicate and we both went to a local supermarket to check the numbers (9, 14, 26, 28, 30 and 45.) They tallied with our own. From then on my day was anything but ordinary.”

He added: “I was so tired after the holiday and the flight that I hadn’t bothered to check our tickets at first. I was reluctant to tell the others until it had been validated by Camelot just in case I had made a mistake. It really hasn’t sunk in at the moment because it being Easter and everyone wanting fish at this time of year we are all very busy at the factory. Another worker, Kerry Smith, said the money was a real blessing because with two young children to bring up life had been a bit of a struggle recently.

Simpson’s have congratulated the syndicate on their win and allowed them time off to collect the cheque from Camelot. “The boss has been just great about it all,” said Chris, who has a four year-old daughter.

This is Hull’s second big win in less than a month. Three weeks ago a syndicate at a local working men’s club scooped £772,000.

National Lottery spokesman Adrian Mann said: “To have two winning syndicates from the same town in such a short space of time is quite unusual.”

Simpson’s, which had a £25million turnover last year, is one of the UK’s biggest family-owned fish processors. It recently came out publicly in support of Asda when it banned the sale of monkfish from its stores as a conservation measure. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.