You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

EuroMillions winning couple who scooped £115m jackpot then celebrated with cuppa revealed

Mirror logo Mirror 04/01/2019 Sophie Evans
UP NEXT
UP NEXT

Watch: Couple scoop EuroMillions jackpot (Sky)

The lucky British couple who scooped an astonishing £115million EuroMillions lottery jackpot on New Year's Day have been revealed.

Grandparents Frances and Patrick Connolly, from County Armagh, Northern Ireland, kicked off 2019 with a bang with their incredible win.

Patrick, 54, who had bought a Lucky Dip online, discovered their amazing success after checking their numbers on several websites. 

Download the Microsoft News app for your Android or iPhone device and get news & live updates on the go.

Sliding back in his chair in disbelief, he then turned to partner of 30 years Frances, 52, and asked her: "Do you want the good news...?"

Frances Connolly, 52, and Patrick Connolly, 54, from Northern Ireland, scooped a £115 million jackpot in the New Year's Day lottery draw © PA Frances Connolly, 52, and Patrick Connolly, 54, from Northern Ireland, scooped a £115 million jackpot in the New Year's Day lottery draw

Unsure of how to react to their win, the couple had a cup of tea and shared a hug before ringing Camelot the next morning to verify it.

“We really didn’t know what to do or how to react and we didn’t sleep a wink that night," Patrick recalled at a press conference today.

Frances Connolly, 52, and Patrick Connolly, 54, celebrate after their jackpot win © Getty Frances Connolly, 52, and Patrick Connolly, 54, celebrate after their jackpot win

"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.”

The couple are now the National Lottery’s fourth biggest ever winners after scooping £114,969,775.70 in the January 1 draw. 

Their identities were revealed at the press event near Belfast this morning, where they celebrated with champagne.  a close up of text on a white background: Frances and Patrick Connolly kicked off 2019 with a bang with their incredible win © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Frances and Patrick Connolly kicked off 2019 with a bang with their incredible win

They had matched five numbers in the EuroMillions draw (01, 08, 11, 25, 28), as well as the two Lucky Stars (04 and 06).

Frances added: “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.”

The couple, from Moira, are regular Lotto players but only normally buy EuroMillions tickets when there is a big jackpot.

a person in a uniform: The grandparents scooped a staggering £114,969,775.70 in the January 1 draw © Credits: PA The grandparents scooped a staggering £114,969,775.70 in the January 1 draw

With Christmas over and a massive sum up for grabs, Frances had decided to purchase some tickets for the New Year’s Day draw.

However, she forgot to get them during a shopping trip with Patrick so, instead of returning to the shop, her husband played online.

“I always hoped we would win the lottery one day, but when we did, it would be just our luck that lots of others would win on the same day with the same numbers too – never in my wildest dreams did I think we would ever win almost £115million," Frances said. a person wearing glasses: Frances initially didn't believe her husband when he told her they had won © Credits: PA Frances initially didn't believe her husband when he told her they had won

It was the same evening, while on his computer checking emails at around 10pm, that Patrick discovered their staggering win.

After checking several different sites to make sure their numbers matched the winning ones, he calmly told his wife: "We've won."

Frances, who had been watching TV in the same room, then asked him how much they had won. He replied: "No, we’ve won."

 
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Patrick had bought a Lucky Dip online after the couple forgot to purchase tickets while out shopping © Credits: PA Patrick had bought a Lucky Dip online after the couple forgot to purchase tickets while out shopping

At first, Frances didn't believe her partner.

But after the couple stared at the numbers on the screen for what seemed like a lifetime, they received an official email from the National Lottery at around 1am confirming that they had won.

And seven hours later, they rang Camelot to get it verified.

“We honestly thought we would never win anything like this. Never in a million years," said Frances.

"I’m sure that lots of other people think the same but we are proof that it can happen to anyone and we feel so grateful and privileged that lady luck has landed at our door on this occasion." a man and woman posing for a picture: The couple, who met in 1989 and live in a rented home, have three grown-up daughters, as well as three grandchildren © Credits: PA The couple, who met in 1989 and live in a rented home, have three grown-up daughters, as well as three grandchildren

Instead of going on a wild shopping spree, the couple's first priority was to write a list of loved ones to share their good fortune with. It currently stands at more than 50 lucky people - who haven’t all been told.

Frances would also like to buy a second-hand car – a Jaguar - while Patrick simply wants to shower his wife of 28 years with presents.

Frances tore a ligament in her knee some time ago, meaning shopping can be a difficult task due to long periods of standing.  Their first priority was to write a list of loved ones to share their good fortune with © Credits: PA Their first priority was to write a list of loved ones to share their good fortune with

However, a holiday to Mauritius could be on the cards for the couple, as well as some trips to watch rugby matches and a F1 Grand Prix. 

Frances added: "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 too. 

"This win gives us the chance to really make a difference for our family and friends."

The couple, who met in 1989 and live in a rented home, have three grown-up daughters, as well as three grandchildren. 

Frances is originally from The Glebe in County Tyrone, while Patrick was born and bred in Belfast.

The pair were considering a move to Croydon in March because Patrick had been offered a new job as an Operations Manager.

But since finding out about the win, he has decided to retire for now. 

Frances, who has educational qualifications and has worked previously as an Educational Programme Coordinator, had intended to do a PHD in September in Clinical Psychology.

She is planning on continuing with her studies.

Andy Carter, the National Lottery's Senior Winners' Advisor, earlier said: "Imagine kicking off the New Year with an extra £114million to your name. 

"What an amazing win and year ahead for one lucky UK ticket-holder.

"This win ranks at number four in the list of the biggest ever National Lottery winners and we look forward to helping them begin to enjoy their win."

He added: "By buying a ticket for EuroMillions or any other National Lottery game, every player is helping to raise money for Good Causes.

"On average, around £30 million is raised every week for projects across the UK, both big and small, including funding everything from local community projects to preserving the nation’s heritage."

Frances and Patrick are now wealthier than both former One Direction star Harry Styles (worth £50million) and singer Ed Sheeran (£80million).

In 2018, four EuroMillions jackpots were won by UK players.

The biggest winner in Britain was an anonymous ticket-holder who banked a staggering £121million in April.

a person standing next to a tree: Lincolnshire builder Andrew Clark, pictured, claimed a £76million EuroMillions jackpot just before Christmas © Credits: SWNS Lincolnshire builder Andrew Clark, pictured, claimed a £76million EuroMillions jackpot just before Christmas

Two months earlier, another anonymous player had scooped £77million.

Then in July, Fred and Lesley Higgins, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, won £57.9million after their lucky ticket was mistakenly torn in two.

And just before Christmas, Andrew Clark, of Boston, Lincolnshire, claimed a £76million EuroMillions jackpot - six weeks after the draw.

The self-employed builder, who had a habit of stockpiling tickets in his van, was initially unaware that he had become a multi-millionaire.

It was only when his partner's niece reminded him to check his tickets, tucked in the visor of his Peugeot Expert, that he discovered his win.

Stunned, he called his partner and said: "Start looking for a mansion."

The biggest ever EuroMillions winners in the UK are Colin and Chris Weir from Largs in North Ayrshire, Scotland, who won £161million in 2011.

a man standing next to a tree: Fred and Lesley Higgins, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, won £57.9 million in July last year © Credits: PA Fred and Lesley Higgins, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, won £57.9 million in July last year

The New Year's Day win dwarfs other Northern Ireland jackpots like the £27million scooped by Co Tyrone woman Margaret Loughrey in 2014.

Belfast bus driver Peter Lavery is one of the region’s best-known winners, but his £10million ticket in 1996 is tiny in comparison to Frances and Patrick's win.

The top UK EuroMillions wins of 2018

1) £121million

This eye-watering sum was won by an anonymous ticket-holder in April.

2) £77million

This impressive jackpot was scooped in February. Again, the UK ticket-holder decided to remain anonymous.

3) £76million

Andrew Clark, of Boston, Lincolnshire, was revealed as the owner of Britain's biggest ever unclaimed lottery ticket last month.

The self-employed builder worked through many cold and wet winter days, unaware he had become a multi-millionaire.

He finally claimed his win six weeks after the draw.

4) £57.9million

This jackpot was won by Fred and Lesley Higgins in July.

The retired couple, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, scooped the amazing prize - despite the winning ticket being mistakenly ripped in two.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon