Northern Ireland news

Euromillions winner has already saved sister's family home with 'miracle' win

Frances Connolly (back row, far left) pictured with her sisters Sharon, Claire and Ann and (front row, from left), brothers Paul and Roddy, and their mother Kathleen (front row, middle), who died in October 2017
Marie Louise McConville

A SISTER of new lottery multi-millionaire Frances Connolly has told how the "miracle" win has already saved her family home from being sold.

Sharon Bordessa said she was "dumbfounded" when her sister called her to tell her that she and her husband Patrick had won almost £115 million in the Euromillions draw.

Describing her as a "very kind person", Mrs Bordessa - whose family home in Co Tyrone was due to be sold in just three weeks - revealed that Frances told her "you have no worries" and you "don't have to sell" when she revealed her good fortune.

After going public on Friday at a press conference, Frances and Patrick - who live in Moira in Co Down - flew to England as part of a pre-planned visit to see two of their daughters.

A third daughter, who has been travelling in New Zealand, was also due back in England.

Read More: Children's football club in Hartlepool to benefit from Moira lottery win

Mrs Bordessa, who lives in Glebe near Strabane, Co Tyrone, said it is expected that on their return the couple will visit family in the area to celebrate.

Frances and Patrick Connolly, who live in Moira, Co Down, celebrate their Euromillions win. Picture by Mal McCann

The Connollys, who have been together for 30 years, lived in Hartlepool in England before recently returning to live in a rented property in Moira.

They have said they have "no intention of keeping all the money" and plan to share their good fortune with loved ones, having already drawn up a list of 50 family and friends – none of whom have been told.

They have also pledged to help charitable causes.

Speaking to The Irish News last night, Sharon Bordessa said Frances phoned her on Thursday to tell her: "I have got some good news and you don't have to sell your house".

Mrs Bordessa had put her house up for sale in November 2017 and in September last year, an offer was accepted.

The sale was due to compete in three weeks but after talking to Frances, Sharon said she phoned the solicitor and called off the sale.

"I was just dumbfounded and then I ran up the stairs and told my daughter," she said.

Sharon Bordessa pictured with her mother, Kathleen, who passed away in October 2017, and her children, Olivia and Bradley

"It's the house my children grew up in. It's my children's family home".

The 42-year-old described her sister as someone who is "generous with her time and her love".

"Our mummy was like that, money never, ever meant anything - definitely that is one of mummy's traits, she was the kindest, most generous person I've ever met."

She said of Frances: "There were times I was stuck and never asked for help. I had a big bill. I did a car boot to make some money. I never told her. Another sister told her and the next thing a cheque came in the post for £1,000.

Utter Shock

"We are a very close family. You just pick up the phone and everybody is there. Everybody is really excited. I can't even imagine what it is like for them. You know that it's real but at the same time, you are like `No, it can't be'.

"We have been ringing around each other in total and utter shock."

Mrs Bordessa, who had cared for her mother before her death in October 2017, said she expects to see her sister this week.

"Once they come back from England, they will be coming down from Moira to Glebe to see the family," she said.

"She already told me that I don't have to worry."

The mother-of-two said she hoped to give her home a makeover and possibly buy a new car as well to accommodate her three dogs.

"I never ever thought that this could be, that my children could move back to their family home. It's a miracle."

Read more:

Northern Ireland is no stranger to life-changing lottery wins

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