Newry man Simon Savage is our latest lotto millionaire after scooping a massive £1,796,081 jackpot he very nearly missed out on.
Last week was just like any other for the farm shop owner until he saw media reports of an unclaimed lotto prize from a draw which took place on November 29.
This prompted him to look for some tickets that he had lying around the house
“I read that The National Lottery were trying to locate a winner of over £1.7m from the Newry and Mourne area," Simon said.
“I remembered that I played the Lotto at the end of November so decided to have a look for some tickets I had laying around the house, never imagining for a second I’d have the winning one.
“I had tickets in a couple of different places and the first batch I looked at had no winners but when I looked under a cheque I planned to lodge in the bank later that day, I found two more tickets.
“When I checked those, to my utter amazement one of them had the winning numbers but I still couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing so I got my brother to check it again.
“I just pushed the ticket towards him and asked him to check the numbers. I was shaking so he asked me to sit down and after checking the numbers and dates all corresponded he told me the amazing news.
“I think we were both in shock and didn’t know what to do. In the end, he just shook my hand and congratulated me,” he added.
Simon’s winning numbers were 6, 11, 18, 19, 38 and 42 and his winning ticket was a Lucky Dip purchased at Sainsbury’s in Newry.
Despite becoming a millionaire the big-hearted farm shop owner kept his shop open today so people in the local community can pick up their turkeys.
“I’ve had the shop now for eight years and have built up a loyal customer base that I would never let down, no matter what," he said.
"Customers who’ve found out about my win have been shocked but amused to see me working.”
Simon has suffered with impaired hearing since his 20s so he intends spending some of his new-found fortune on finding a way to improve his hearing, he also plans to go on holiday and to ensure that he has a cracking Christmas.
A National Lottery spokesman said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to unite Simon with his winnings, especially just before Christmas.
"It would have been awful if the winner of this amazing prize had missed out on this substantial and life-changing amount of money.”