Northern Ireland news

Furloughed kitchen paint sprayer from Co Derry celebrating massive £300,000 lottery prize

Robert Fullerton, a furloughed kitchen paint sprayer from Castledawson, is celebrating a dramatic change of fortune

A CO Derry man is celebrating a dramatic change of fortune after winning a massive £300,000 lottery prize.

Robert Fullerton (30), a kitchen paint sprayer, secured the win after buying a £3 on a National Lottery scratchcard at a shop in Castledawson while shopping for some essential grocery items.

It is a fantastic boost for Mr Fullerton and his wife Susan (25), a machine operator for a kitchen supplier, as both were furloughed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I brought the two scratchcards home and played them that night," he said.

"I didn't win anything on the first and gave it to Susan to check, while I was scratching the second card.

"Half-way through, it was already showing that I'd won £300,000 and I started physically shaking. I was thinking to myself, 'that's not right' and had to get up and go outside for some fresh air.

"I showed the scratchcard to Susan and took a photo that I sent to my mum and sister - both of whom agreed that I wasn't seeing things and that, as far as they could see, I'd won £300,000.

"After a restless night, with little or no sleep, I called the National Lottery the following morning. They asked for some details and then, I'll never forget, the lady on the phone said…'Congratulations, you have won £300,000'.

"My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. In fact, I still can't believe it.

"It's like a dream come true, especially in these uncertain times when we're stuck at home and don't really know how our jobs will be affected by this coronavirus pandemic."

Mr Fullerton plans to spend the money on a new house, a first holiday abroad with his wife, driving lessons as well as trips to watch Liverpool FC play at Anfield.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we would win something like this," he said.

"I suppose no-one thinks they will but at the end of the day it has to happen to someone and we're very grateful that it's landed on our doorstep on this occasion.

"We've never had a lot of money and what we have we've worked hard for. It just goes to show that it really can happen to anyone."

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