20/03/2012 07:39 GMT | Updated 20/03/2012 08:35 GMT

EuroMillions: Corby Bus Drivers 'Facing Shift Cuts' Celebrate Life-Changing £38m Win (PICTURES)

A syndicate of bus drivers who claim they were facing cuts to their working hours have celebrated their EuroMillions jackpot haul of £38m, of which each will get a £3.1m share.

The "life-changing" sum of money for the drivers, who all work for Stagecoach in Corby, Northamptonshire, comes at a time where, one driver claims, shifts were being taken from drivers.

Chris Smith, who led the dozen-strong syndicate, said: "Times have been very tough for everyone - we were facing up to shifts being cut, which can really hit you in the pocket.

"This win means so much and is life-changing for everybody - people can live their dreams and help out their families."

However, Stagecoach denied that hours were being cut. "There has never been any intention to reduce drivers' contracted hours at the Corby depot," said a spokesperson for the company.

"In common with all bus operators, it is not unusual for us to make changes to timetables from time to time."

Either way, the bus drivers will now be out of work for a different reason – they can simply afford not to.

The 12 winners discussed their plans for their winnings before a press conference in Corby this morning.

Smith recalled the moment he and his wife realised they had won: "My partner checked half our numbers and I checked the other half - she just passed the winning ticket over and paused the TV on the numbers.

"We kept looking at it and passing it between each other about four or five times. We couldn't really believe that they all matched."

Smith then contacted his fellow drivers, who grouped together at his home at nearly 1am that night.

"It wasn't really a party - just everyone sat there not wanting to believe it until it was confirmed, talking about what we would do with the money" Smith said.

"It wasn't until the early hours that we realised it was just one winning ticket."

The eldest member of the group, Charlie Gillion, 65, was already planning to retire from Stagecoach at the end of the year. His retirement will be made far easier by his winnings, however Gillion admitted he has asked his wife for £1 to buy the newspaper that morning.

Not among them was Hazel Loveday, a colleague who reportedly dropped out only six months before the group's win last week.

But the drivers declined to comment on Loveday, concluding that; "We all like Hazel, she's a good friend."

Other members of the group were revealed to be John Noakes, 49, Stephen Derrick, 53, Dave Mead, 54, Jim Patton, 55, Neil Tayton, 58, Alex Robertson, 57, Ally Spence, 57, Charlie Connor, 40 and Derek Wilson, aged 50, while the twelfth chose to remain anonymous.