THEY are among the luckiest profession in the country and now city cabbies have been hoping to pass on their good fortune by giving lottery tickets to unsuspecting passengers.
The surprise hand-out by drivers at the Capital’s Central Taxis firm was organised by the National Lottery to celebrate an unusual milestone for the profession.
Lottery bosses revealed that drivers are second only to builders when it comes to winning the big sums.
More than £750 million has been paid out to drivers – including cabbies, bus and lorry drivers – since the National Lottery began, creating 193 millionaires. This amounts to more than 1500 major prizes, worth £50,000 and above.
More than a dozen taxi drivers handed out “golden envelopes” to passengers across Edinburgh yesterday, with each one containing what could be a winning Lotto ticket or Scratchcard.
Tony Kenmuir, director at Central Taxis, said: “It’s great to hear that we are one of the luckiest professions. With lucky drivers and lots of tickets and Scratchcards to give away, hopefully we have not just taken passengers from A to B but perhaps to millionairedom as well. I’ll be making sure I put my numbers on this weekend.”
The figures were compiled from the National Lottery’s secret winner database, which contains the profession of every major winner since the lottery began in 1994. More than 3800 people have become millionaires in that time.
A National Lottery spokesman said: “Many congratulations to drivers everywhere. You are officially a lucky profession. It is wonderful to have seen so many winners from so many professions celebrating their big win.
“The joy and amazement is the same whether it is a builder or chef staring at a giant cheque bearing their name and we want to recognise each and every lucky winner.”
Other fortunate professions include the manufacturing sector, which boasts 1453 high tier winners who have won over £615m.
And almost 150 retail workers have been made millionaires – banking a total of £500m.
In the care and social work industry, there have been 1049 big winners and 102 millionaires, while the National Lottery has helped turn 62 teachers and 27 farmers into millionaires.
Big Lothian lottery winners in recent years have included Niddrie teenager Jane Park, who was just 18 when she scooped the £1m prize.
Jane, who scooped the winnings in her first attempt at playing the Euromillions, has since started working in a takeaway because she was “bored of spending money”.
In January, Elvis-mad couple David and Donna Hendry, from Livingston, scooped more than £4 million – on what would have been the King’s 80th birthday.
And last summer, Willie Sibbald, a 48-year-old painter and decorator from Moredun, matched all six numbers on his Lucky Dip ticket to bank £7,084,472. He pledged to share the cash with his best friend and work colleague Rab Layden, to honour a pact they had made in their work van.
Each week, £33m is generated for National Lottery-funded schemes, benefiting tens of thousands of community and charity projects across the UK.