The lucky pair matched the numbers 1, 8, 11, 25 and 28, plus Lucky Stars 4 and 6, ending a long sequence of rollovers stretching back to 16th November and instantly becoming the UK’s fourth-largest winners. It was announced the next day that the winners had already come forward to claim their prize, and they decided to go public with their story rather than stay anonymous.
Celebrate With A Tea And A Hug
Speaking at a winners’ press conference at Belfast’s Culloden Estate and Spa, the grandparents revealed that they had been overwhelmed but still managed to keep the celebrations low-key. Frances said: “We don’t really do excited – perhaps I raised my voice just a bit at the time when I found out – but we celebrated with a cup of tea and a hug.”
Patrick, 54, had played online and bought just one Lucky Dip ticket for the draw. He checked the results on several sites to make sure they had won, turned to his partner of 30 years and asked ‘do you want the good news?’
“We really didn’t know what to do or how to react and we didn’t sleep a wink that night. 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.”
Sharing The Money With 50 People
Asked what they would do with the money, the couple, who live in Moira, insisted that they would to use to help the people they know and love. They have already made a list of about 50 names who they would like to share their winnings with, adding that everyone on the list is still in the dark.
“It's going to be so much fun giving it away. The pleasure for me is going to be seeing people's faces," said Frances, 52. Patrick added that this win would just enhance what was already a very happy life. He explained: “I've got a wonderful wife, a wonderful family and wonderful friends, so this is the icing on the cake. Money doesn't bring you happiness. We already had happiness and were very blessed in life.”
They are also determined to keep busy and explore new opportunities with the financial freedom they now have. “For the minute I'm retired, I need to digest this, but it won't last long, I need to be doing something,” said Patrick. Frances, who worked in the voluntary sector, added: “I've wanted to do my PhD in clinical psychology and I can afford to do it now.”
Check Your Numbers
The draw on 1st January also featured ten winning Millionaire Maker codes, making it the perfect start to 2019 for lots of UK players. You can use the EuroMillions Checker to see if you have won a prize in the Millionaire Maker or the main game, and must stake your claim within 180 days.
The top prize for the next draw on Friday night will reset to £15 million, giving players in all nine participating countries another chance to win big. You can take part online or by visiting any authorised retailer.