NI chef who turned up for work on busy day despite £4m jackpot win
A Co Down chef turned up for work on Valentine's Day - one of the busiest days of his year - despite having just scooped more than £4m in an online jackpot.
Strolling through the doors of Strangford's Artisan Cookhouse at 9am, 33-year-old Sean Doyle started his working day more than £4.2m richer than when he'd left the night before after winning Paddy Power's biggest ever online jackpot just a few hours earlier.
Placing a £10 stake on an online slot game called Mars Attacks, the Newcastle native struck it rich when he won the Jackpot King Deluxe on Paddy Power Games at exactly 10pm on the eve of the most romantic day of the year.
Setting about his normal daily routine next morning, he served up Valentine's Day meals for loved-up couples who remained oblivious to the fact Northern Ireland's newest multi-millionaire had been their chef for the evening at the popular restaurant run by the Evans family.
After being an online gaming customer with Paddy Power for just six months, his final eye-watering total reached an out-of-this-world £4,283,863.55.
Mr Doyle said he could not believe the amount he had won and, after helping out his family, has his sights set on a quieter life running his own cafe.
"I watched it until it reached about £1m on the count thing and I switched off my phone.
"I couldn't look.
"When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes after I saw the final amount," he said about his win.
"You wouldn't believe the amount of people's lives I'm going to change with this win.
"My sister is a single parent in New Zealand with three kids so I'm delighted because this means I will be able to help her out.
"I also have three brothers, my parents and a few aunts and uncles too."
Mr Doyle, who is single, said he is now considering opening his own business after the unexpected windfall.
"Ah, I'm sure the expected things will come too.
"After helping the family out, I might set up my own shop, probably a café, which would mean I can downscale and relax more," he continued.
Speaking about the win, Paddy Power said he didn't see Sean remaining single for long after clinching the jackpot.
"Roses are red, violets are blue, we found out Sean is single, so get in the queue!" the gambling firm's boss joked. "We're used to being down a few quid after Valentine's Day but this record-breaking win takes the biscuit!
"We're absolutely thrilled for Sean, and the fact that he was sound enough to turn up for work for his bosses the next morning makes the thought of his success all the sweeter."
The big win didn't go unnoticed by rival Strangford restaurant, the Lobster Pot. They said: "Congratulations to local chef Sean Doyle on winning over £4m, from all of us here at The Lobster Pot. We just hope our chefs do the same and come to work when they win the big money!"
Mr Doyle's win comes just weeks after Northern Ireland couple Patrick and Frances Connolly scooped a £115m EuroMillions jackpot.
The pair, who live in Moira, Co Down, have vowed to give away a large proportion of the money to their friends and family.