Belfast Telegraph

Impulse buy scoops lottery jackpot

A grandmother-of-seven has toasted an impulse decision to buy an extra lottery ticket after her family celebrated becoming Northern Ireland's latest millionaires.

Maire McKibbin, 64, from Kilkeel, Co Down, had already bought her tickets for Saturday's Lotto draw when husband Jarlath urged her to take another punt at the lucky dip in their local filling station.

"We were heading to the golf club on Saturday evening and Jarlath says 'go in and do another five quick picks' and we went into Rafferty's garage and did them, and that was the ticket that clicked the six numbers," she revealed.

The grandparents' spur-of-the-moment buy landed a cool £1,134,307 on the National Lottery for their family's six-strong syndicate.

The win is the second time in recent months that the caravan park owners' have experienced good luck in the money stakes. In June, their daughter won almost £12,000 in a local lotto run by nearby Ballymartin gaelic football club.

"It's better to be born lucky than good looking," laughed Mrs McKibbin as she sprayed champagne over her husband and son John. The 20-handicapper added: "I've already had a hole in one and, with my luck, I'm looking forward to a second."

The couple, both past captains of Kilkeel Golf Club, were staging a charity barbeque for the local lifeboat in their caravan park on Saturday when they found out the good news. While Mr McKibbin has treated himself to a new windscreen for his golf buggy, the couple insist they will not be making any extravagant purchases.

"It definitely won't change my life," said Mrs McKibbin. "My feet are firmly on the ground."

When the money is divided among the six syndicate members, the McKibbins intend to donate to two local charities - the Mourne Stimulus Centre for adults with learning difficulties and the Southern Area Hospice.

The winning numbers for the draw were 5, 30, 31, 33, 35 and 45.

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