Lottery: Newtownabbey woman's joy at £12.9m Euromillions jackpot win
Revealed: Northern Ireland woman Mary Hamilton wins life-changing amount
Newtownabbey woman Mary Hamilton is celebrating scooping £12,935,936.30 on the Euromillions draw.
At a press conference this morning at the Culloden Hotel Northern Ireland's latest lottery millionaire Mary Hamilton enjoyed a glass of Champagne to mark her big win with a Lucky Dip ticket.
The 65-year-old furniture store employee has said she and husband Alexander (67) are going to "spend it" and her first purchase will be a mobile phone.
Mary and her husband, known as Sandy, are set to enjoy Christmas in style.
And the couple, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in July, are planning to reward all their faithful customers who have ‘kept them in a job’ for all these years at Bannons.
Mary has been playing the lottery for 20 years.
She is now one of more than 3,700 millionaires created by the lottery since the first draw took place on Saturday November 19 1994.
Her winning ticket was a Lucky Dip and the jackpot numbers were 13, 25, 32, 38 and 46 with lucky stars 01 and 10.
“I’ve been playing the lottery since it started 20 years ago and while I always thought there was a chance of winning a few thousand pounds one day, I never dreamed of winning anywhere near this amount,” Mary said.
“For the first 10 years or so, I always did the same numbers week in week out and picked up a few wins over the years but nothing worth talking about. Then I made the brave decision to switch to Lucky Dips and I suppose the rest is history.
" To be honest, I may not have won much before now but I’ve always considered myself a lucky person to have my health and an amazing family,” she added.
Mary found out about her win when she called into the Jet filling station on the Shore Road last Friday night to purchase tickets as she normally would.
“Every week, I call in to buy a couple of tickets and get my previous week’s tickets checked, while I make myself a cup of tea in-store,” she explained.
“When I went with my tea to pay for everything, I was told that they couldn’t pay my money over the counter and I had to call the lottery number on the back of my ticket.
"The shop was quite busy and people quickly started to talk about me being a big winner.
“Someone even checked the numbers on his phone and within minutes, we knew that I had struck the jackpot so I was taken into the store to sit down, call my husband Sandy and try to come to terms with what had just happened.
"My legs were so weak that I couldn’t walk. Sandy came to the store, we hugged and then he drove us home."
Mary and Sandy are quitting their jobs at Bannons with immediate effect.
“We started working with Bannons about seven or eight years ago and they’ve been the happiest years of our working lives,” Mary said.
“The owners and management have treated us very well and we’ve also made a load of friends from customers on both sides of the community on our daily runs across Falls Road, the Shankill, New Lodge, North Queen Street, Rathcoole, Ballyduff, Monkstown and Newtownabbey.
“In fact I always said to our customers that if I ever won the lottery, I would see them right.
"And I intend to keep my word and do just that.
"You could call it a thank you for keeping us in a job."
Mary and Sandy are looking forward to this exciting new chapter in their life and plan to look after friends and family as well as helping the community.
“I want to make life as comfortable as I can for ourselves and our family and friends," she said.
"I’d like to help both sides of the community and also do my bit to help the local economy which has had it tough lately."
Belfast Telegraph Digital