A syndicate of 16 Co-op supermarket employees from Penzance is celebrating after scooping £500,000 in the Thunderball draw.

Syndicate leader Colin Coombes, 49, his partner Norma Barron, 60, also a customer team member at the Market Jew Street store, and Norma’s son, Robert Barron, 40, the store supervisor, along with 13 of their colleagues, are celebrating winning an impressive £31,250 each.

Fourteen of the original 16 syndicate members still work in the Penzance store and delighted syndicate leader Colin said: “There has been plenty of excitement in the store since we won and our customers have been part of that.”

Colin buys the syndicate’s five tickets every Saturday, playing a variety of different games using lucky dip numbers and has occasionally won £10 or £40 in the past.

Colin said: “I always buy the tickets after I finish work on a Saturday, but was on holiday that week, so came down to the shop in the morning to buy it instead. I don’t know if that was luckier for us. I always check our numbers at home on a Saturday night.

“I hadn’t been having a great day and had been stressing out about a shoulder operation I am due to have. I was casually watching the telly, but missed the Thunderball results. I played it back and said to Norma that I thought we had won £3 on the Thunderball. Then I said, ‘Would you believe we’ve got the whole lot?’ I had to read the numbers out to her as she didn’t believe me.

“She says I went white. I was in shock, as was everyone when we told them the news!”

Colin, a self-confessed ‘wind-up merchant’ had trouble convincing his colleagues of their win when he called everyone that Saturday night before putting the winning ticket in his underwear drawer for safekeeping, explaining: “I knew it would be safe as no-one wants to go in there!

“It’s our standard line when we go to work on a Monday morning. Everyone asks, ‘Did we win anything on the lottery?’ But, of course, this Monday, they all knew, as we had already broken the news.”

They all celebrated on Saturday with a night out combined with a celebration for syndicate member Daniel Symons’ leaving party as he heads to another co-op branch in nearby Hayle.

Colin and Norma will put their share of the win towards home renovations and a new front door. The syndicate invested in their usual tickets again this Saturday and have attracted a further eight recruits from the Penzance team since the win.

The syndicate’s winning Thunderball numbers were 4, 25, 27, 30 and 33 and the bonus ball was 1.