Northern Ireland news

Wellies top of shopping list for lottery winner

Sharin McCourt celebrates with her best friend Sharon 
Jennifer Maloney

A PAIR of humble wellington boots are the unlikely items at the top of the shopping list for Derry's latest lottery winner.

Sharin McCourt, a regular music festival goer, scooped a life-changing £250,000 on a National Lottery scratchcard and also plans to buy her best friend a new car to transport them to gigs right around the country.

She had no idea her life was about to change for the better when she popped to her local Mace store on the city's Culmore Road to buy groceries for dinner and picked up two £250,000 Blue & Green Scratchcards, from National Lottery GameStore, while at the till.

The 42-year-old explained:  “I wanted to make a nice meal for myself and my best friend, so we went down to the shop to buy some bits and pieces.  When I went to pay for my items I had a bit of money left over so I decided to buy two scratchcards, on a whim.  Then we just headed home and I started to prepare dinner.”
 
After unpacking her food Sharin remembered about the scratchcards and decided she would scratch them.
 
“The first one wasn’t a winner,” she said.  “But the second one, well that revealed three amounts of £250,000.  My reaction was total disbelief.  I didn’t shout or cheer I just had a look of total bewilderment on my face.  Even now I find it hard to comprehend.  I asked my friend to check it and after her initial amazed reaction she confirmed I was right and it was a winner.”
 
Even though her friend confirmed that she had won, Sharin still wasn’t convinced. 

She continued: “When I look back now I think I was in complete shock.  I decided that I’d take the scratchcard to the shop where I bought it and see if they could confirm it and to my amazement they too said it was genuine.  By this point it had started to sink in so when I called the National Lottery claim line and they also said it was real, I knew I’d finally won!.”
 
So what is Sharin planning to spend her winnings on? Sharin, said: “To be honest, I lead a simple life so I don’t have any big plans yet.  However, I’m an avid festival goer so it’ll be VIP all the way to my favourite festivals this year.  I also plan to buy my life-long friend, Sharon, a new car as the one we travel to the festivals in has had more hits than Abba!  I’ll also get us some brand new wellington boots to keep our feet dry.”
 
Sharin’s winning £250,000 Blue & Green Scratchcard was bought at the Mace Store, Culmore Road, Derry. 

Meanwhile, the Big Lottery Fund has provided a £400,000 grant to help build a legacy for the first UK City of Culture for communities in Co Derry and has providing grants for community arts and culture projects right across the city.

These include funding for the First Housing Aid and Support Services which received £5,005 towards creative workshops for its service-users at the Shepherd’s View Young Parents’ Project in the Waterside area of the city. 

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