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Northern Ireland shop manager strikes lucky with £1m scratchcard win

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Shawn Keeley (26) from Dungiven celebrates becoming Northern Irelands latest National Lottery millionaire.

Shawn Keeley (26) from Dungiven celebrates becoming Northern Irelands latest National Lottery millionaire.

Shawn Keeley (26) from Dungiven celebrates becoming Northern Irelands latest National Lottery millionaire.

A CO Londonderry store manager has become Northern Ireland’s latest millionaire after scooping an incredible £1m on a scratchcard.

Shawn Keeley (26) from Dungiven bought the winning ‘£50M Mega Cash Showdown’ scratchcard at McNicholl’s Eurospar on Station Road, Dungiven, the store that he manages.

A finance graduate from Jordanstown, Shawn now has a few decisions to make on how to handle his new-found fortune after his Saturday night turned into something far beyond his wildest dreams.

“It all started when I bought a couple of £3 scratchcards on the Friday night,” explained Shawn. “I won £30 on those so, as I was leaving work around 5.30pm on Saturday evening, I bought a couple of £5 scratchcards with my winnings.

“Normally I’d scratch them in the car but on this occasion, I took them home with me as I had to get ready to go to a socially distanced garden party with a few friends that night. I actually forgot about the scratchcards in my jacket pocket so when I got home, I had a shower and got ready to go out.

“Then I remembered the cards, took them out of my jacket and started scratching around 7pm. All of a sudden, I could see that my numbers matched and the card was telling me that I had won the top prize of one million pounds.

“I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was still trying to process what was happening while my mum was already making plans for a new asphalt driveway at the front of the house, which they’ve been working on.

“Then she phoned my brother Paul in England and I texted my brother Gavin in Australia – both of whom naturally thought we were joking,” he laughed.

Shawn was soon brought back down to earth when, having just become a millionaire, he received a phone call from the store assistant who had earlier sold him the winning scratchcard.

“The call came through and immediately I thought this was it – I’d been the victim of an elaborate prank,” said Shawn.

“But it turned out there was just a problem with the fridge in the shop so I had to go round and fix it, knowing that I’d literally just won a million. That was around 8.30pm which meant I was running very late to meet my friends.

“When I arrived, my friends asked… ‘you’re late, what happened to you?’

“I replied ‘nothing much, I just won a million quid on a scratchcard’ and then the party really got under way!”

Despite his big win, Shawn will continue working at the store as he loves his job and has a ‘great relationship’ with the owners.

He now plans to treat his family, adding the local community has been very supportive since news started to leak about his big win.

“It’s been really nice as customers have been coming into the shop and saying that they’re delighted for me and that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer family,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph