Co Armagh parents-to-be win £4m on scratch card
A 35-YEAR-OLD road worker who is expecting his first child in April, has won £4 million on a National Lottery scratch card.
Ross Hearst, from Kilmore in Co Armagh, said he had been "on a roll", having won two prizes of £20 and a further £10 the day before, and so decided to buy the £10 Blue scratch card at a Spar on Gilpinstown Road in Lurgan on Wednesday.
"I haven't slept a wink since I won. I still can't believe it," he said on Friday.
After discovering he had hit the jackpot, Mr Hearst tried ringing his wife Jocelyn 22 times to break the news before finally getting hold of her.
She did not believe him at first, but was delightedly clutching the enormous cheque on Friday as he celebrated enthusiastically by spraying champagne in time honoured fashion.
The first spending spree for the down-to-earth couple will be a modest car and a hoover.
The couple who have been married for five years, are hoping to book a cruise to celebrate their good fortune, because Mr Hearst does not like flying.
"It's really unbelievable," he said yesterday.
"I would normally buy a scratch card every week but never in my wildest dreams did I ever dream of winning such a huge amount.
"In fact, I had just won a tenner on a scratch card and when I was in the store, I decided to exchange it for a £4 Million Blue scratch card.
"I don't normally buy the £10 scratch cards but this one was the last one on the shelf so I just had an urge to buy it."
Not knowing he was sitting on a fortune, he did not scratch the card until he went back to work after lunch, and "just couldn't believe it when I won".
"I was so excited that when I tried to ring Camelot to verify the win I kept pressing the wrong buttons on my phone. I finally had it confirmed though and immediately tried to phone my wife.
"After 22 missed calls, I finally got through to her and told her my news but she didn't believe me.
"She thought I was winding her up so told me to stop being silly and hung up me, but she phoned me back and I assured her that I would never joke over something so big."
He said the life-changing win is great timing for the couple.
"We're expecting our first baby in April so this win has just come at such a perfect time. Our baby, and our life as a family, will have such a perfect start. Words can't describe it. It's just amazing."
However, despite becoming a multi-millionaire, Mr Hearst insists his feet are still firmly on the ground and his focus remains on his wife and baby.
"Our circumstances may have changed, but we won't change as people," he said.
"This is a truly amazing time in our lives with the new baby due and to win such a large amount of money, particularly at such an important time, is a dream come true.
"Obviously, we'll make sure that our baby has everything she needs but we won't be making any rash decisions as to how we spend our money."
Mr Hearst said, while he will not be going back immediately, he did not rule out going back to working on the north's roads at some stage.
"I'll take a career break from work - who knows, I may want to go back some day - and I plan to invest it wisely but haven't really had time to think about how just yet.
"I’m not a great flyer so I think we’ll book ourselves a nice cruise holiday and I'll definitely buy myself a new car. I have my eye on an Audi A3.
"Jocelyn says she's going to buy a new hoover so I think that shows how sensible we’ll be with our money."
The win comes ahead of Saturday night's record Lotto jackpot of £57.8m after Wednesday's draw proved an unlucky 13 consecutive rollover, failing to find a winner.