Thursday 18th December 2008
Join the Union and you might win Lotto! Just ask members at Tweed Heads Hospital who hit the Lotto jackpot.
Christmas came early to a group of hard-working North Coast nurses who hit the Lotto jackpot last month.
The syndicate of 23 nurses, who are all NSWNA members, and one wardsperson from Tweed Heads Hospital, delighted their colleagues when they collected nearly $800,000 on what was to be their last ever Lotto entry.
‘This has been the best morale booster at the hospital,’ said NUM Pam Barrett. ‘Everyone was just so happy for us.
‘The girls on Sunday night-duty discovered the results and proceeded to ring all of us at 3am and ask if we wanted 30 grand! – that was in between running around and screaming,’ she said.
‘I’m usually very resistant to picking up the phone in the middle of the night – I mean, who gets good news at that hour?
‘This has been a great reward for a bunch of nurses who do a really difficult job. Even the Director of Nursing came down to congratulate us – she thought it was just brilliant.’
The group won a total of $769,230.77, which equated to $32,051.28 for each member – a pretty impressive return on their on their investment. Pam estimates that they’ve spent about $500 each over the five years of the syndicate – less a small previous win totalling $329.
The members all worked in the hospital’s coronary care unit until it was split last year, making it difficult to organise the group.
Subsequently, they had planned to disband the five-year-old syndicate after the November draw, though, according to syndicate member Kellie Thompson, CNS, they ‘might just have to keep it going now’.
‘Staff morale had been pretty flat just before the win but we’re all on cloud nine now. We’d like to think we won because everyone was a member of the NSW Nurses’ Association – which is not surprising really as we’ve got a strong membership up here,’ she told The Lamp.
Liz Delbridge, RN, one of the syndicate organisers, and the first to discover the win on the internet, said it had been an exciting few weeks and had created a fantastic buzz at the hospital.
‘I think everyone was so happy for us because so many of us won – we all feel like we’re winners,’ she said.
‘Even though we were only one of 26 division-one winners, we did so well because it was the big $20 million draw.
‘Due to the difficulties collecting the entry money there were a few stragglers but I can assure you there was a mad rush to pay-up the funds once the word of the win spread.’
According to Pam, there have been several Greek Island trips booked already.
‘Last I heard someone had bought a new car, another had paid off their mortgage and someone else is putting a deposit on a house,’ she said.