NI couple to go public as £114.9m EuroMillions winners

Frances Connolly 52 and Patrick Connolly 54 from Moira in Northern Ireland who scooped a ?115 million Euro Millions jackpot in the New Year's Day lottery draw during

Frances Connolly 52 and Patrick Connolly 54 from Moira in Northern Ireland who scooped a ?115 million Euro Millions jackpot in the New Year's Day lottery draw during

Patrick and Frances Connolly, from Moira in Co Down says they celebrated their big win with a hug and a cup of tea.

Rather than embark on a wild shopping spree, the couple who have three daughters and three grandchildren, have made a decision to share their wealth with their friends and loved ones.

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.

Mrs Connolly said she was going to spend some of the money to support a local community football club in Hartlepool she used to work with, St Francis FC.

"The only thing I ever won was a guess the number of candies in the jar, and four other people did the same thing".

Mr Connolly, 54, said the win felt "unreal" and added: "We really didn't know what to do or how to react and we didn't sleep a wink that night". He predicted he would not be able to sit around long before he had to get back to doing something.

A couple from County Armagh has won nearly £115m in a EuroMillions draw, it has been confirmed.

Asked whether she would have to increase her personal security, Mrs Connolly joked: "I've never met anybody I couldn't take down myself, to be fair".

The couple also told how before their win they had not indulged in luxuries or run up any debts.

Mr Connolly bought his lucky ticket online. Mrs Connolly worked as an educational programme co-ordinator and plans to study for a PHD in clinical psychology.

Their winning numbers were 01, 08, 11, 25, 28.

She added: "I can not see us being in the limelight for a long time".

The couple have three daughters and and three grandchildren.

In anticipation of revealing of the jackpot winners' identities yesterday, Andy Carter, senior winners' adviser at the National Lottery, said: "Imagine kicking off the new year with an extra £114M to your name".

Mr Carter explained that the decision on whether or not to go public about a win can be a hard one.

"The greatest advice is to take your time - do nothing quickly".

He added that past winners rarely make ostentatious purchases at an early stage.

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