Christmas has come early for a Newry man who searched for his ticket after hearing of an unclaimed win in the Newry and Mourne area.
Farm shop owner Simon Savage has now eased his present-buying worries with a £1,796,081 jackpot win on the Saturday, November 29 draw.
He said: “I read that The National Lottery were trying to locate a winner of over £1.7m from the Newry and Mourne area.
“I remembered that I played the Lotto at the end of November so decided to have a look for some tickets I had laying around the house, never imagining for a second I’d have the winning one.
“I had tickets in a couple of different places and the first batch I looked at had no winners but when I looked under a cheque I planned to lodge in the bank later that day, I found two more tickets.
“When I checked those, to my utter amazement one of them had the winning numbers but I still couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing so I got my brother to check it again.”
Simon added: “I just pushed the ticket towards him and asked him to check the numbers. I was shaking so he asked me to sit down and after checking the numbers and dates all corresponded he told me the amazing news.
“I think we were both in shock and didn’t know what to do. In the end, he just shook my hand and congratulated me,” he added.
Simon’s winning numbers were 6, 11, 18, 19, 38 and 42 and his winning ticket was a Lucky Dip purchased at Sainsbury’s in Newry.
Despite becoming an instant millionaire, the big-hearted farm shop owner is keeping his shop opened on Christmas Eve so his customers can pick up their turkeys.
“I’ve had the shop now for eight years and have built up a loyal customer base that I would never let down, no matter what. Customers who’ve found out about my win have been shocked but amused to see me working.”
He has suffered with impaired hearing since his 20s so intends spending some of his massive win on finding a way to improve his hearing - as well as taking a holiday.