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Dad struggling for work scoops £137,000 on Lotto

A County Antrim tradesman reduced to working a three-day week has told how he is planning a happy Christmas after becoming Northern Ireland’s latest winner on the Lottery.

Self-employed plasterer Damien Gillan from Armoy won more than £137,000 after purchasing a ticket earlier this month.

He is the second person from the province to win big this year.

In August unemployed Greysteel father-of-six Seamus Duffy scooped a whopping £4.5m.

Both winners had purchased a Lucky Dip Lotto ticket from their local convenience store.

And while Mr Duffy was quick to claim his prize, it took Mr Gillan five days to claim his.

Speaking after collecting his winnings, the ecstatic father-of-two explained it could not have come at a better time.

The 40-year-old was working just three days a week and had to cancel his family holiday in Spain this year as a result of the recession.

“Things were really bad as far as work was concerned and I just can’t believe my luck,” Mr Gillan said.

“I reckon it will be a while yet before things improve at work, but now the win will make for a very happy Christmas and beyond.”

Mr Gillan won £137,591 in the 5+Bonus Lotto draw on November 7. Besides having a great Christmas Mr Gillan also plans on taking his wife Michelle and their two daughters to Spain next summer.

“We were planning to go to Salou, but to be honest the work wasn’t there to afford it.

“We were all very disappointed, but now it shouldn’t be a problem,” he added.

Apart from treating his family to a holiday Mr Gillan also plans on making a donation to the other passion in his life — the Armoy Glen Rovers hurling team that he manages.

Mr Gillan bought his usual Lucky Dip Lotto ticket in the Armoy Mace shop on November 7.

Ulster's had a lotto luck

Mr Gillan is the latest in a string of winners from Northern Ireland.

Co Londonderry man Seamus Duffy won £4.5m in August while fellow Derry man Ryan Magee scooped £6.4m in the Euromillions draw last year.

Peter Lavery, a former Citybus driver, won a staggering £10.6m in May 1996 and teenager Tracey Mackin was among the UK’s youngest winners when she picked up £1,055,101 in January 1998. The Glengormley girl was just 16 when she picked the winning numbers.

Northern Ireland’s biggest single Lottery winner was Iris Jeffrey from Belfast who received a jackpot of £20.1m on July 14, 2004. And another Derry man, Peter Matchett, won £11.7m in 2001, while Limavady van driver Stephen Boyd bagged £1.5m in 2002.

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