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How many big winners in Ulster? Quite a Lot

Northern Ireland has had a number of big lottery winners over the years.

These include former bus driver Peter Lavery from the Short Strand in Belfast who won the £10.5m jackpot in May 1996.

The next day the new multi- millionaire went into work to savour his final days and in his excitement forgot to return the Citybus float.

As well as establishing the Rita Charles Trust in memory of his parents, Peter has continued to play a big role in the cross community work he was involved with before his win.

Peter supports many charitable groups and hosts an annual dinner for pensioners.

? At the age of 16, Glengormley schoolgirl Tracey Makin was the youngest UK winner of the Lottery when she scooped a whopping £1,055,171 in January 1998.

At the time Tracey was studying for nine GCSEs at Our Lady of Mercy School in Belfast. Immediately after her win one of her first appointments was to sit a word processing exam.

Her first purchases included a car for her brother Darren and a holiday for her parents Jerome and Maeve.

She also splashed out on a trip to Anfield where she met her footballing hero Michael Owen.

dinner for pensioners.

? North Belfast grandmother Iris Jeffrey became Ulster's biggest Lottery winner when she scooped £20,100,472 in 2004.

The prize had lain unclaimed until media coverage prompted the 58-year-old mother of two to check her ticket.

At the time, Iris was battling throat cancer but has since recovered from surgery.

dinner for pensioners.

? Coleraine man Willie John McConnell pocketed exactly £3,822,330 in 1995 to become one of the largest single Lottery winners in the UK at the time.

The retired train driver carried on living in his modest home on the town's outskirts after the win and two years later was still giving interviews in his trademark string vest and NIR jacket.

Shrewd investing and careful husbandry is his mantra if you want to be a happy National Lottery winner.

Aside from buying a farm nearby and a 4x4 which he changes every two years, Mr McConnell admits to little extravagance.

dinner for pensioners.

? Waterside in Londonderry lottery winner Denis Doherty credited a crying child after he scooped £1,655,605.

He said that when he went to buy the winning ticket, a crying child behind was kicking up such a fuss for sweets he just ticked off the first numbers that came to him.

This lucky break saw the 60-year-old former DuPont worker and his wife Patricia scoop a third share of the Lotto jackpot.

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