A simple marketing ploy by a north Northumberland business went viral online, leaving the owners hoping they didn’t win the lottery jackpot.
Last Tuesday night, Colyn Pentleton, of the Farm Bakery Shop in Amble, decided to buy a lottery ticket and post it on Facebook, offering a share of the jackpot if the ticket won in return for a ‘like’.
He set a deadline of 8.29pm for signing up for a chance of a slice of the Euromillions jackpot of more than £130million.
By the deadline, there were 50,000 likes, but as it went around the world, 8.29pm was at a different time and the post eventually received 192,869 likes.
Winning the jackpot would have meant everyone receiving a share of around £2,600 and Colyn was concerned at the prospect of writing 50,000 cheques.
On the night, Colyn, who has run the bakery for the last 12 years with Christine and the shop on Queen Street for three years, thought for the sake of £2 he would stick the ticket on Facebook.
“I thought it would be just for the fans of the site, but it went ballistic,” he said.
“In total, it’s had about 200,000 likes and I’m still getting people commenting about it a week later.
“I set a time limit at 8.29pm, but across the world it was at different times.
“At the time, it was 50,000, which would work out at £2,600 and I thought how do I write 50,000 cheques?”
Colyn suggested that if the ticket won, those with a share could be invited to Amble and it would be a good event for the area.
“Then again, I was pleased I didn’t win,” he added.
It also proved a boon for the couple’s business.
Colyn said: “Within 24 hours, there was 1,000 new likes to the page and it probably generated about 10 new cake orders, including one from San Francisco. A woman wanted to order two for her kids, but then we realised where she was.”
So surely he wouldn’t do it again? Not at all.
“For the sake of two quid, if it generates a bit of interest, I will definitely think about doing it again,” he said.