Belfast Telegraph

Cold snap turns Jim into a millionaire: Newry pensioner unearths forgotten winning Lottery ticket from pocket of his winter coat

By Staff Reporter

A cold snap helped land a lucky Northern Ireland pensioner a cool £1m.

Newry man Jim McLoughlin went looking for his coat when temperatures dropped, only to find an old ticket for the EuroMillions Mega Friday draw from August.

And on a trip to his local SuperValu shop he asked for the ticket to be checked.

The 68-year-old former plumber's mate takes up the story: "The young lady behind the counter duly took the ticket and once she put it into the machine a noise went off - the two of us just looked at each other wondering what was going on?

"It never occurred to me that I was about to be a millionaire.

"The young girl called a member of her team over to check the machine and it was then that I discovered I was a lottery winner and the girls told me I needed to contact Camelot."

When Jim got home he called the number for the National Lottery, but he still struggled to come to terms with his windfall.

He continued: "I was speaking to the adviser, who confirmed that I had won £1m as well as the choice of whether to take a Brazilian holiday or the cash equivalent.

"Well, I was absolutely stunned.

"Those words were never something I thought anyone would be saying to me.

"I asked her to check everything again, asked her was she sure?

"My mind was totally buzzing, I just couldn't process what was happening to me.

"Not only had I won £1m, but I also had the choice of a dream holiday or cash alternative.

"I don't like travelling much, so I took the cash, which meant I had £46k to add to my win."

After letting the news sink in Jim called his son Gary (34) and - like father like son - Gary was doubtful, thinking there had been some kind of mistake.

"When I told Gary he simply didn't believe me, so he checked my numbers via the red button on my TV set and initially he thought it was all a mistake, as he missed my winning code.

"So when he told me I was devastated.

"I asked him to check again and sure enough when he spotted my numbers he realised that it was all true and his dad had just become a millionaire."

After buying and renovating his flat and getting a new car, Jim is planning to spoil his family with his winnings.

"I want to help some friends and family out. I'd also like to buy my flat and totally renovate it and maybe buy a new car as well", said Jim.

The National Lottery has been changing lives across the UK for more than 21 years.

In Northern Ireland alone there have been well over 20,000 National Lottery grants awarded to individuals, organisations and projects across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors.

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