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EuroMillions lottery winners to share £115 million prize with family and friends

Jan 5, 2019, 2:46 pm

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Euro MillionsEuro Millions: EuroMillions lottery winners to share £115 million prize with family and friendsRating:

When Frances and Patrick Connolly realized they had won a EuroMillions jackpot worth £115 million (US$131 million), they sat in silence and stared at each other for 10 minutes, then made a cup of tea.

So began a new life for the couple from County Down in Northern Ireland on New Year's Day, after scooping one of the biggest UK lottery wins in history.

They went public with the news on Friday at a press conference outside Belfast, where the Connollys announced they would share the prize with 50 friends and relatives.

"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," said Frances Connolly, 52, a teacher. "This win gives us the chance to really make a difference for our family and friends."

Patrick Connolly, 54, a businessman, said his wife "nagged" him into buying a ticket, which he did online on January 1st, choosing the lucky dip option that selects random numbers. He did so without much expectation, since the couple had never won more than £10.

Before going to bed, he checked the result and found they had the winning numbers: 1, 8, 11, 25, and 28, with Lucky Stars numbers 4 and 6. He rechecked four times — "I was sure it was a scam" — before telling his wife, "I think I've got some good news for you."

She assumed they had won a modest sum. "I said it must be more than £2.60. We won £2.60 the week before."

She did not believe him when he said they had hit the jackpot. "A couple of expletives later, which I'm trying not to say in front of you, I said, 'It must be a joke.' He said, 'I wouldn't joke about that.' Then we just stared at each other for 10 minutes."

They spent a sleepless night together before phoning the lottery operator, Camelot, at 8am to verify the win. "Then it started to dawn on us that it was true even though it still hasn't really sunk in," said Patrick Connolly.

The £114,969,775.70 prize makes the Connollys, who rent a terraced house in the village of Moira, the fourth-biggest UK lottery winners in history and puts them in Northern Ireland's rich list.

They have been together for 30 years and have three daughters, one aged 30 and twins aged 24, and three grandchildren. One of their three daughters is in New Zealand doing a master's degree. She is travelling home and, during her stopover, has upgraded from a hostel to a modest hotel after the win.

Frances Connolly said the couple had always been happy, but the win would make them a "hell of a lot happier". She expected the limelight cast on them by their good fortune to fade. "There are no skeletons, there are no dirty pictures, there is not enough to keep us in the public eye," she said.

She said she would cry herself to sleep in frustration at not being able to help everyone. She named one planned beneficiary: St Francis FC, a community football club in Hartlepool, where the couple lived for 25 years.

The teacher, who has been off work because of a leg injury, has no plans to buy a mansion. "I want a bungalow because I can't walk up the stairs," Frances Connolly added.

Asked about hiring a bodyguard, she joked, "I've never met anybody I couldn't take down myself, to be fair."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to dannyct for the tip.

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9 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by music*.
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sweetie7398's avatar - flower2
100

United States
Member #22701
September 30, 2005
13404 Posts
Offline

When Frances and Patrick Connolly realized they had won a EuroMillions jackpot worth £115 million (US$131 million), they sat in silence and stared at each other for 10 minutes, then made a cup of tea.

So began a new life for the couple from County Down in Northern Ireland on New Year's Day, after scooping one of the biggest UK lottery wins in history.

They went public with the news on Friday at a press conference outside Belfast, where the Connollys announced they would share the prize with 50 friends and relatives.

"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," said Frances Connolly, 52, a teacher. "This win gives us the chance to really make a difference for our family and friends."

Patrick Connolly, 54, a businessman, said his wife "nagged" him into buying a ticket, which he did online on January 1st, choosing the lucky dip option that selects random numbers. He did so without much expectation, since the couple had never won more than £10.

Before going to bed, he checked the result and found they had the winning numbers: 1, 8, 11, 25, and 28, with Lucky Stars numbers 4 and 6. He rechecked four times — "I was sure it was a scam" — before telling his wife, "I think I've got some good news for you."

She assumed they had won a modest sum. "I said it must be more than £2.60. We won £2.60 the week before."

She did not believe him when he said they had hit the jackpot. "A couple of expletives later, which I'm trying not to say in front of you, I said, 'It must be a joke.' He said, 'I wouldn't joke about that.' Then we just stared at each other for 10 minutes."

They spent a sleepless night together before phoning the lottery operator, Camelot, at 8am to verify the win. "Then it started to dawn on us that it was true even though it still hasn't really sunk in," said Patrick Connolly.

The £114,969,775.70 prize makes the Connollys, who rent a terraced house in the village of Moira, the fourth-biggest UK lottery winners in history and puts them in Northern Ireland's rich list.

They have been together for 30 years and have three daughters, one aged 30 and twins aged 24, and three grandchildren. One of their three daughters is in New Zealand doing a master's degree. She is travelling home and, during her stopover, has upgraded from a hostel to a modest hotel after the win.

Frances Connolly said the couple had always been happy, but the win would make them a "hell of a lot happier". She expected the limelight cast on them by their good fortune to fade. "There are no skeletons, there are no dirty pictures, there is not enough to keep us in the public eye," she said.

She said she would cry herself to sleep in frustration at not being able to help everyone. She named one planned beneficiary: St Francis FC, a community football club in Hartlepool, where the couple lived for 25 years.

The teacher, who has been off work because of a leg injury, has no plans to buy a mansion. "I want a bungalow because I can't walk up the stairs," Frances Connolly added.

Asked about hiring a bodyguard, she joked, "I've never met anybody I couldn't take down myself, to be fair."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to dannyct for the tip.

Congratulations to the winnersParty

Life, love, family Love

    TheMeatman2005's avatar - lightening
    Brooklyn, NY
    United States
    Member #169719
    October 29, 2015
    1494 Posts
    Offline

    Cheers! Jolly good show!

    Congrats!

    The Meatman 🥩🍗🍔🍖🍤🌭

    “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” Will Rogers

    Winning happens in a flash, Like A Bolt Of Lightning!  Patriot

      music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
      USN United States Navy
      Fresno, California
      United States
      Member #157851
      August 2, 2014
      3959 Posts
      Offline

      Lep The good luck of the Irish has struck again. Congratulations! 

       So many friends and family will celebrate with them. 

       "We are all in this together!" 

        Avatar
        Kentucky
        United States
        Member #32651
        February 14, 2006
        8998 Posts
        Offline

        "share with family and friends"

        Anybody else related to my cousins Frances and Patrick Connolly?

          Avatar
          Northern Beaches
          Australia
          Member #187037
          January 9, 2018
          125 Posts
          Offline

          Congratulations to the lucky couple!

          However, they were very unwise to agree to being publicly identified, as they had the right to remain anonymous.

          They will be inundated with requests for assistance from complete strangers, not to mention relatives.

          Also, the media will republish their story, with photographs, whenever the lottery is in the news.

            Avatar
            Northern Beaches
            Australia
            Member #187037
            January 9, 2018
            125 Posts
            Offline

            As they purchased the ticket online, it is a lesson for US State Lotteries on the need to have online access for players.

             

            The UK is the most successful lottery in the world, raising billions for community projects across the UK, precisely because it has nine million online subscribers.

              Tucker Black's avatar - Kleber Vieira.jpg
              Reno, NV
              United States
              Member #173299
              February 25, 2016
              334 Posts
              Offline

              They immediately announced they're going to share it with 50 friends and relatives? Good start to going broke, give it all away!

                Avatar
                Simpsonville
                United States
                Member #163184
                January 22, 2015
                2282 Posts
                Offline

                As they purchased the ticket online, it is a lesson for US State Lotteries on the need to have online access for players.

                 

                The UK is the most successful lottery in the world, raising billions for community projects across the UK, precisely because it has nine million online subscribers.

                I believe most LP players agree with you there.  Get with the times and offer on-line access.  Luckily KY does which still amazes me.  It is not a matter of if it happens nationwide, but rather an issue of when IMHO.

                 

                Agree with former NJ Governor Chris Christy about sports betting which took off like a rocket ship in states that offer it.  Keep the Feds out of it.  They want their hand in the till and he is championing Legislators around the country to prevent this.  They already have their grubby little hands (IRS) for big wins.

                  music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                  USN United States Navy
                  Fresno, California
                  United States
                  Member #157851
                  August 2, 2014
                  3959 Posts
                  Offline

                  How wonderful it is not to see the terrible strife and fighting that once claimed Ireland. A beautiful time of peace, happiness, and winning the Lottery. 

                   If I remember correctly it was President Clinton, the Brits, and the actors in Ireland who brought peace back to the Island. Full employment works wonders anywhere. 

                   "We are all in this together!"