Belfast Telegraph

Father-to-be Ross breaks open the bubbly after road worker's lucky streak culminates in scratchcard jackpot of £4m

By Cate McCurry

A road worker has been unveiled as Northern Ireland's latest millionaire after he scooped £4m on a £10 scratchcard.

Co Armagh father-to-be Ross Hearst said he had an urge to buy the last scratchcard on the shelf after he had a run of luck earlier this week.

The 35-year-old added that the win couldn't have come at a better time as he and his wife Jocelyn are expecting their first baby in April.

He bought the winning £4m Blue scratchcard from The National Lottery GameStore from a Spar shop on Gilpinstown Road in Lurgan on Wednesday.

After discovering he'd scooped the major prize, a shocked Ross frantically rang his wife of five years 22 times to share the good news, but Mrs Hearst refused to believe him at first.

The couple beamed with happiness as they celebrated the huge win in front of the media at Armagh City Hotel yesterday.

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"It's really unbelievable. It was lunchtime when I bought the card and when I went back to work I scratched it and just couldn't believe it when I won," he said.

"I was so excited that when I tried to ring Camelot to verify the win I kept pressing the wrong buttons. After 22 missed calls I finally got through to my wife and told her my news, but she didn't believe me.

"We're expecting our first baby at the end of April so this win has just come at such a perfect time. Our baby and our life as a family will have such a perfect start."

The lucky punter won £20 on two separate scratchcards on Tuesday afternoon then won another £10 later that evening.

The next day he went into his local shop and exchanged his £10 card for the £4m Blue scratchcard to test his winning streak.

He said: "I was going to get something to eat but then I decided to exchange the £10 scratchcard I won the night before and bought that one.

"I was in the tea room on my own and my boss thought something bad had happened because I was so shocked.

"The money means that the baby will have a lot of things we didn't have (growing up).

"After I couldn't get hold of Jocelyn I rang the hospital and explained that I needed to speak to her, but she told me I was lying and when I phoned her back she was in tears.

"I sent her a photograph of the card and explained I had it confirmed but I couldn't get hold of the guy from Camelot because I kept pressing the wrong buttons.

"The first thing I said was not to go into early labour, sit down and take in the news."

The first purchase on the new millionaire's list will be a vacuum cleaner.

"I want to buy a new car too. I have my eye on an Audi A3, but my wife wants a decent Hoover," he said.

"We will just take our time at spending it. Everyone always said I was lucky. I will stay as normal as possible and will enjoy it with friends and family.

"This money will do a whole lot for a lot of different people like friends and family, but we are still going to be the same people, we are no different from anyone else, we just have more money."

Mr Hearst said he wasn't rushing to give up the day job just yet but plans to take time out to consider the family's next step.

He said: "I'm tempted to take a career break so I don't have to quit, as it's a very good job to have.

"I still can't believe it and it will take more than a few weeks to settle in. We can buy things we never thought we could buy, we could pay our mortgage and make ours and our family's lives comfortable, but we won't go overboard as you can fall on your face very hard.

"I'm happy and excited about our baby and a bit overwhelmed, but we will embrace it and enjoy it - but I haven't slept since.

"Winning this money means everyone has a chance to win. I buy a scratchcard every week. Everyone wants that chance, that one time to win."

Belfast Telegraph

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