AN INNOCUOUS plant pot proved to be the key to lottery luck for pub-goers who are celebrating a £1m win.

Saltburn man Steven Raw stashed his lottery syndicate’s ticket in an empty plant pot in his kitchen and forgot about it for weeks.

Upon taking it to his local shop to be checked, he was gobsmacked to find that The Queen’s Syndicate had netted a £1,093,805 prize in a recent EuroMillions draw.

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On Friday afternoon, Mr Raw joined the rest of his syndicate at The Queen’s Hotel – where the life-long friends all either work or drink – to celebrate the life-changing win.

Before spraying champagne into the air outside the lively pub, the group joked about putting their now-lucky plant pot up for sale on eBay for £5,000.

Steel fixer Mr Raw, 38, said: “I put the ticket in the plant pot in my kitchen for safe keeping.

“It’s just a normal plant pot – I never said it was lucky but I’m starting to think differently now.

“We have had a few small wins in the past and we all hoped one day we would win the million.

“I was popping out to the local Spar and the plant pot just caught my eye as I was walking out of the door so I thought I would take the ticket just to check on the off chance.

“When the lady behind the counter said: “You have won big here” I told her not to be silly and she replied saying no, really, it’s a big winning ticket.”

Mr Raw then rushed home to call his friend, and syndicate organiser Rachel Henderson with the good news.

Speaking on Friday as she celebrated with her fellow lottery winners, Ms Henderson said she has already spent the lavish sum a million times over in her head.

The 43-year-old secretary, from Saltburn, said: “It is just unbelievable, none of us thought it would happen to us.

“It’s amazing and it’s a nice sum of money to make life easier for us all.

“I haven’t bought anything yet but I’ve already spent it a million times over in my head.”

Each member of the syndicate will bank £156,257 after scooping the prize in the draw that took place on Sunday, April 28.

The group of friends include three members of the same family and the daughter of the landlord of The Queen’s Hotel.

As she spoke to press and well-wishers outside the pub, Ms Henderson said a huge party for family and friends was on the horizon.

Mr Raw said: “It is just wonderful to think that all of us are so close – we are all like family .

“Even if we are not related we are the closest of friends and have been for most of our lives.”

The syndicate won during the competition’s Mega Week, so were one of six winners of £1m and a trip to the Seychelles.There were too many of them to take the trip so chose the cash alternative.