Grandparents thought $200 million lottery win was a scam

  • 07/01/2019

A couple from Northern Ireland, who won almost $200 million in a lottery draw, took some convincing their jackpot was legitimate after matching up the numbers.

Just hours before the New Year's Day draw, grandparents Frances and Patrick Connolly bought a ticket into the EuroMillions jackpot worth €114m (NZ$195m).

After checking the draw's website that evening and finding the winning numbers, Mr Connolly wanted to be sure it was real.

"I then went on to a second website to check their numbers and they were the same, and I still thought, 'this is a bit of a scam'," Mr Connolly said.

"So I checked a third site and again, same numbers."

It took an official email from the lottery company before the couple actually believed it was true.

Once it had been confirmed, Mrs Connolly said the first thing she did was have a cup of tea before planning what to do with their huge prize.

The pair is planning on sharing the money with 50 of their closest friends and family.

"The pleasure for me is going to be seeing their faces and asking them what they want," Mrs Connolly said.

Speaking to BBC News NI, Andy Carter of the National Lottery said their focus is "looking after someone as they're going through a really life-changing experience".

"We make sure they have access to good legal advice and good financial advice, but it's primarily about supporting them through a period of both shock and excitement," he said.


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