“The only thing I ever won was a guess the number of sweets in the jar”
The winners of the near £115m New Year’s Day EuroMillions jackpot have been identified as a couple from Northern Ireland.
Frances and Patrick Connolly, from County Armagh, appeared at a press conference on Friday after they became the fourth biggest lottery winners in UK history, pocketing a total of £114,969,775.70.
Patrick Connolly, a businessman, and Frances Connolly, a teacher, said they had bought the ticket online and been unable to believe the result at first.
Patrick, 54, initially believed that the whole thing was a scam before he repeatedly checked online and realised they were definitely the winners.
“We really didn’t know what to do or how to react and we didn’t sleep a wink that night,” he said.
“We rang Camelot at 8am in the morning to verify the win. Then it started to dawn on us that it was true even though it still hasn’t really sunk in.
When you see the cheque for the first time!
— The National Lottery (@TNLUK) January 4, 2019
The pair said that their first priority had been to compile a list of family and friends they would give cash to. Around 50 people will now share the fortune, including their three daughters and grandchildren.
“All the time we’ve been doing the National Lottery I don’t think we’ve got three tenners,” Frances, 52, said.
“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.”
The couple won the jackpot after playing the New Year’s Day EuroMillions draw on Tuesday, where the winning numbers were 01, 08, 11, 25 and 28, with Lucky Stars 04 and 06.