Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh man celebrates £100,000 scratchcard windfall ... with a fishing trip

BY CLAIRE GRAHAM

Lottery winners have their choice of top, luxurious destinations and fast cars.

Winning big for many of us would mean packing our suitcases, booking a flight and hanging out a 'gone fishing' sign for the neighbours after hitting the jackpot. One man is literally doing just that.

Mark O'Donoghue from Enniskillen has wasted no time in deciding how he'll spend the £100k reeled in from a National Lottery scratchcard – and there isn't a five-star villa in sight.

Instead the 41-year-old is fulfiling his lifelong ambition, a fishing expedition in the wilds of Alaska.

The keen fisherman is often seen along the scenic Lough Erne shores but soon he'll be on the other side of the pond.

The catch of the day came from his local Mace store on Riverside after he purchased a £2 money multiplier scratchcard.

After netting the prize by matching three cash amounts, Mark who is originally from Dublin, isn't letting the chance slip away. "I've always dreamed of going fishing in Alaska and now thanks to the National Lottery, that dream is about to come true," he said.

Alaska is renowned for being a fishing hotspot in stunning surroundings.

The 3,000 rivers, three million lakes and 6,640 miles of coastline are teeming with huge runs of record breaking salmon, rainbow trout and beautiful arctic char.

It's unsurprising the fortune has encouraged Mark to travel to America as the USA was crowned the top overseas holiday escape for millionaire lottery winners last year.

Splashing the cash on the great outdoors is also one of the more popular options for winners.

With his fishing rod in hand and the clear oceans as bait, Mark can now put a line through the trip on his bucket list.

Mr O'Donoghue also plans to share some of his newfound fortune with his sister Geraldine as well as his two brothers.

FACTFILE

What could you buy for £100,000?

* An around the world 109-night cruise for yourself and two friends for £30k each – with spending money of £10,000.

* You could pick yourself up a Ferrari 360 Modena (right) for around £100k – a bit less if you went for used.

* For just £1,080 per night you and a loved one – or your best buddy – could take some pampering time out in London with a suite at luxury hotel Claridge's. Throw in flights and entertainment in London and you could stay for a month.

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