Belfast Telegraph

Winning £115m is as daunting as it is joyous, but NI couple have already found fortune in loving family and loyal friends

Editor's Viewpoint

Frances and Patrick Connolly, from Moira, have made headlines in a huge way with their extraordinary win of almost £115m in the EuroMillions lottery draw.

Who hasn't thought, even briefly, about a big lottery win and deciding what to do with the money? We may dream about new cars, perhaps a new house, expensive jewellery, and world travel. The sky would be the limit.

Yet this massive win by the Connollys is beyond our wildest dreams. Clearly they have been trying hard to adjust to the news of such a huge windfall.

Others who have had big wins in lotteries have faced great challenges to their lifestyle. Sudden changes of this magnitude can bring hitherto unknown pressures, and history is peppered with the sad stories of those who could not cope, and whose lives went awry - and in some cases were even ruined by such good financial fortune.

Happily, however, Frances and Patrick Connolly seem to be Northern Ireland people blessed with great common sense. Their first reaction was to have a cup of tea and try to think what all of this would mean to their lives.

In a Press conference they confirmed they were already happy and "very blessed in life". They underlined what so many other people have known, that money itself does not bring happiness.

The Connollys were right to emphasise this. Good health, a loving family and loyal friends are some of the true riches of life, and this is something we should all reflect upon, whatever our financial circumstances.

Frances and Patrick's initial thoughts also centred on others. They announced their intention to give some of the money away to family and friends, and very quickly they drew up a list of at least 50 beneficiaries. The Connollys in their Press conference showed they are thoroughly nice people who seem to be well-placed to deal with the challenges, and t he pleasures, that lie ahead.

The New Year can be a bleak time, but this has been a great start for Frances and Patrick, and for Northern Ireland too.

We wish them well in enjoying their great win.

Belfast Telegraph


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