Dungiven mother-of-two plans to pay off mortgage after scooping £285,288.60 on the Euromillions
A mother-of-two from Co Derry has kicked off the New Year in style by scooping more than £280,000 on the National Lottery.
Roisin McNicholl, who lives in Dungiven with her husband, Martin and two children, Ciara (22) and Oisin (20), said she is planning to use her £285,288 win from the EuroMillions draw on December 19, to pay off her mortgage and do some work around the house.
The 44-year-old, who purchased the lucky dip ticket at Easons in Coleraine, matched all five main numbers and one Lucky Star number in the draw to win the prize and said she has her mother to thank for it.
"It was actually my mum's 73rd birthday on 19 December so my daughter Ciara and I went to Coleraine to buy her a new phone for her birthday," she said.
"There was a huge EuroMillions jackpot on offer that night so once we had finished our shopping, Ciara bought a couple of lines for the big draw and I bought a lucky dip – on top of my usual numbers that I had already done earlier. That turned out to be the lucky ticket.
"So, had we not gone to Coleraine to buy a birthday present for Mum, I would never have bought the winning ticket in that particular store,"
Mrs McNicholl said she only realised she had won later that day when she was on the road to her mum's home in Slaughtneil.
"We were on our way to deliver our birthday present to Mum and Ciara was driving so I checked the EuroMillions numbers on my National Lottery phone app," she siad.
"I couldn't believe my eyes as I saw the five main numbers matching one by one, and then a Lucky Star as well".
The mother-of-two said she felt both "excited and a bit sick at the same time".
"Once we had calmed down a bit, we continued our journey to break the news to my mum and brother," she said.
"When we got there, I said `Happy birthday Mum, I've just won the lottery'. Nobody believed me until they saw the ticket and it wasn't long until we were all crying… tears of joy of course! So her birthday turned into a double celebration that night".
Mrs McNicholl, who won almost £2,000 in the Lotto draw in 2012, added: "It's just an amazing feeling".
"I never thought we would win something like this – I suppose no-one thinks they will but it goes to show that it really can happen to anyone. It really is a life-changing experience and we are very grateful".