Cold snap lands Northern Ireland pensioner £1m EuroMillions win
A cold snap helped land a Northern Ireland pensioner a cool £1million.
Newry man Jim McLoughlin went looking for his coat when temperatures dropped, only to find an old ticket for the EuroMillions Mega Friday draw from August .
And on a trip to his local SuperValu shop he asked for the ticket to be checked.
The 68-year-old former plumber's mate takes up the story: "The young lady behind the counter duly took the ticket and once she put it into the machine a noise went off – the two of us just looked at each other wondering what was going on?
“It never once occurred to me that I was about to become a millionaire.
“The young girl called a member of her team over to check the machine and it was then that I discovered I was a lottery winner and the girls told me I needed to contact Camelot."
When Jim got home he called the number for the National Lottery, but he still struggled to come to terms with his windfall.
He continued: “I was speaking to the adviser who confirmed that I had won £1m as well as the choice of whether to take a Brazilian holiday or the cash equivalent. Well, I was absolutely stunned.
"Those words were never something I thought anyone would be saying to me.
“I asked her to check everything again, asked her was she sure?
"My mind was totally buzzing, I just couldn’t process what was happening to me. Not only had I won £1m but I also had the choice of a dream holiday or cash alternative. I don’t like travelling much so I took the cash which meant I had £46k to add to my win.”
After letting the news sink in Jim called his son Gary (34) and - like father like son - Gary was doubtful, thinking there had been some kind of mistake made.
“When I told Gary he simply didn’t believe me so he checked my numbers via the red button on my TV set and initially he thought it was all a mistake as he missed my winning code.
"So when he told me I was devastated. However, I asked him to check again and sure enough when he spotted my numbers he realised that it was all true and his dad had just become a millionaire.”
After buying and renovating his flat and getting a new car, Jim is planning to spoil his family with his winnings.