Patrick and Frances Connolly’s £114.9m EuroMillions win is the fourth biggest jackpot scooped in the UK, and the largest ever lottery win anywhere in Ireland.
The Moira couple’s life-changing win in the New Year’s Day draw, thanks to lucky dip numbers 1, 8, 11, 25, 28 and lucky stars 4 and 6, boosted their bank balance by a staggering £114,969,775.70.
Frances revealed how they have been regular National Lottery players online for some time, but said they only really entered the EuroMillions draw “if it’s a rollover or something and it’s on the tele to remind me.”
After forgetting to buy a ticket at the shop on New Year’s Eve, she asked Patrick to enter the draw online.
Having received an email revealing they’d won, a disbelieving Patrick checked the winning numbers on three different websites before turning to his wife and saying calmly: “I think I’ve got some good news for you.”
Their win puts them fourth on the list of the UK’s biggest ever winners – behind Scottish couple Colin and Chris Weir who won £161m in 2011, Adrian and Gillian Bayford from Suffolk who picked up a cheque for £148m in 2012 and a lucky lotto ticket holder who chose to remain anonymous after scooping £121m last year.
While they don’t quite top the charts in the UK, Patrick and Frances can console themselves with the fact that they are the biggest ever lottery winners on the island of Ireland.
That coveted title had previously been held by Limerick woman Dolores McNamara who won 115 million euro on the EuroMillions back in 2005.
Despite their massive win, Frances and Patrick say they have no plans to stop playing the lottery.
“He said to me last night ‘have you checked the numbers?,” Frances laughed.
“Well I did say we are the fourth biggest winners, but we have to be the biggest,” Patrick joked. “At the minute we have it on direct debit and it’s carrying on. We’ve never even thought about cancelling it.”