Couple hit the lottery jackpot

lottery winners

Lottery winners Frances and Patrick Connolly.

By Lizzie Healey

A couple from Northern Ireland who won the £115m EuroMillions jackpot on New Year’s Day have been named as Frances and Patrick Connolly.

The couple in their 50s from Moira, Co Down, have become the fourth-biggest UK lottery winners in history and the biggest winners on the island of Ireland.

Mrs Connolly described the win as “overwhelming” and said she had won €3 the previous week .

“All the time we’ve been doing the National Lottery I don’t think we’ve got three tenners,” she said at a press conference in Belfast.

“The only thing I ever won was a guess the number of sweets in the jar, and four other people did the same thing. We always said if we ever did win, £4 million or something, there would be four million other winners and we’d get £1. We were chuffed to bits.”

Mr Connolly who bought the winning ticket just hours before the draw was made, said it was still sinking in and added that he had had to check multiple websites to cross-reference the numbers to make sure he was reading the ticket correctly.

The couple have a list of around 50 people who they plan to share the fortune with, including their three daughters and grandchildren.

“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,” Mrs Connolly said.

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