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County Armagh Couple Ready To Share £114 Million EuroMillions Win

County Armagh Couple Ready To Share £114 Million EuroMillions Win

A husband and wife from Northern Ireland have said they will give money to around 50 people after being revealed as the winners of Tuesday’s £114 million EuroMillions jackpot. Frances and Patrick Connolly, from County Armagh, kicked off the new year in style as they became the UK’s fourth-biggest lottery winners, and now want to share that new-found wealth with loved ones.

Frances and Patrick wasted little time in coming forward, getting in touch with National Lottery operator Camelot at 8am on Wednesday after matching the winning numbers in the previous night’s draw. They decided to go public and spoke to the press for the first time at a media event near Belfast on Friday morning.

They believe that sharing the nine-figure windfall will give them more joy than anything else, and have already compiled a list of friends and family members who they want to support - most of whom still have no idea about their gigantic EuroMillions win.

“At the moment there are about 50 people,” said Frances, 52. “This is a massive sum of money and we want it to have a huge impact on the lives of other people we know and love as well as on our future too. It is going to be so much fun giving it away. The pleasure for me is going to be seeing people's faces.”

‘We Already Had Happiness’

Patrick, 54, echoed his wife’s sentiment and added that he already felt very privileged before the big win. He said: “I've got a wonderful wife, a wonderful family and wonderful friends, so this is the icing on the cake. Money doesn't bring you happiness. We already had happiness and were very blessed in life."

Asked how they planned to spend the money they would not be giving away, Patrick said that he would ‘need to do something’ as he would not just be able to enjoy retirement without keeping busy. Frances is looking forward to doing a PhD in clinical psychology, having previously worked for an online magazine in the voluntary sector.

The Connollys played online, buying just one Lucky Dip ticket for the New Year’s Day draw.  While they are regular Lotto players, they only normally take part in EuroMillions when there is a particularly large jackpot, and they could not believe that they were the only winners of such an extraordinary amount.

“I always hoped we would win the lottery one day, but when we did, it would be just our luck that lots of others would win on the same day with the same numbers too - never in my wildest dreams did I think we would ever win almost £115 million,” said Frances, who revealed that they had celebrated with a hug and a cup of tea.

Big Winners

There have only been three larger lottery prizes ever awarded in the UK, and they have all come this decade in EuroMillions. Colin and Chris Weir’s £161 million jackpot from July 2011 ranks as No.1, followed by the £148 million won by Adrian and Gillian Bayford in August 2012. The winner of a £121 million jackpot last April claimed their prize anonymously.

The jackpot for the next draw will stand at £15 million, and you can try to emulate the Connollys by playing online, or buy a ticket from an authorised retailer. Best of luck!

Published: Friday 4th January 2019

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