A LOTTERY syndicate showed they had Balls of Steel when they picked up a £1m cheque from the EuroMillions.

The 27-strong maintenance team have pocketed £37,037 each after one of their tickets was pulled out in the New Year’s Eve UK Millionaire Raffle Draw.

Lightning has struck twice in the space of a few months after workers at the SSI plant in Redcar after a 30-strong syndicate won £300,000 in September last year.

Today (Monday, January 6), the champagne corks were popping again when some of the Balls of Steel syndicate came to work to celebrate their success.

Syndicate leader, Mark Richardson, 54, from Nunthorpe in Middlesbrough, checked the tickets on New Year’s Day and realised they had won the £1m raffle draw.

He said: “I decided to check the tickets on my phone and discovered we’d won £7 on the EuroMillions. I was struggling to see the Raffle codes so I logged on to the computer and printed them off. It wasn’t until I came to the last line that I realised we had a matching number. I called to my wife and said to her ‘does that number match’ and she replied ‘yes it does’.”

Although their share of the winnings was not life changing for all of them, but for Michael Shepherd it will make the world of difference.

“It’s a life changing amount of money for me,” he said. “It means that I will be able to clear all of my debt and after being a single father for years, and sometimes not always having a great deal of spare cash, this will be great.”

Dale Cook, who has worked at the steel plant for nearly 40 years, said the cash would help him fulfill his retirement dreams.

He said: “I will be able to put the money towards my dream of buying a cottage in the country when I retire but for some of these younger ones who have massive mortgages hanging over them and this money can help change their lives.”

The Balls of Steel syndicate has been playing EuroMillions for two years and have vowed to continue to play.

The winning ticket was bought from the Spar shop in Nunthorpe.