THE TEACHERS who won Pounds 9.1 million on last Saturday's lottery have not had time to cash their cheques. The winners from St Thomas Aquinas secondary school in Chorlton, Manchester, are in the thick of exams.
Headteacher Pat Carney has accused National lottery organisers Camelot of persuading reluctant staff to go public about their win, only to abandon the school to the mercy of the national press.
"We've had TV cameras poking into exam room windows and a national news crew trying to incite children into fighting," she said. "We've got half the country's press camped outside and there's not a soul from Camelot here to help us."
Twenty-eight teachers, a caretaker and a technician won a total of Pounds 9,110,738, giving them Pounds 303,000 each. Other members of the 42-strong teaching staff missed out on the jackpot because they said they couldn't afford the Pounds 1 a week stake in the school syndicate.
Ms Carney said: "One pound a week is a lot on a teacher's salary. They felt it was a luxury they couldn't afford. But they've wished the rest of us congratulations."
This is the fourth win for a school lottery syndicate this year. In June, 12 teachers at William Morris primary in Banbury, won almost Pounds 2 million. Eighteen staff at Swinton primary near Manchester won Pounds 1.6m in February, and a group of seven dinner ladies from Ashton secondary school in Bristol won almost Pounds 100,000.
Education's biggest winner, deputy head Ruth Maddison, shared Pounds 11. 2m with her husband.