HE may be too young to enjoy the traditional glass of celebratory champagne but that was the last thing on County Down teenager Callum Fitzpatrick’s mind after scooping a massive £390,643 in the Lotto draw on Saturday October 18.
The 16 year old from Ballymartin is one of the youngest lottery winners in Northern Ireland and celebrated his good fortune with orange juice instead of champagne.
Young Callum was watching the Saturday night draw live at his Aunt Geraldine’s house in Bryansford and couldn’t believe his eyes as he matched five numbers and the bonus ball.
After checking and double checking, and then asking his aunt and cousins to double check his ticket, Callum admitted to crying tears of joy when he realised that his eyes had not deceived him and he was indeed a Lotto winner.
An ‘A’ level maths pupil at St Malachy’s High School in Castlewellan, Callum has his sights set on university and a career with numbers, possibly as an accountant. Following last weekend’s big money draw, there is now one set of numbers that he will never forget. Callum’s winning numbers were 1, 22, 30, 40, 47 and bonus ball 42.
“I really couldn’t believe it as the first five numbers that were drawn out were all mine,” said Callum. “Then I missed the sixth number 33 but got the bonus ball too. It was really unbelievable and I got everyone in the room to check my ticket and check the numbers to make sure that I hadn’t made a mistake.
“When I finally realised it was true, I burst into tears but not for long, then I phoned my dad on his mobile to break the news. He didn’t believe me at first but then he realised I was telling the truth,” he added.
Callum’s dad Colin said: “When Callum called to tell me he’d won, of course I didn’t believe it at first but I soon realised from the sound of his voice and how he was talking that it was actually true.
“I’m really thrilled for him. He’s a fantastic lad and his mum and I both know that he will spend his money wisely.
“We’re very proud of him. He wants to finish his A levels and go on to university so it’s wonderful to know that, at a time when most students are leaving university with a big student loan hanging over their heads, this win will give Callum a tremendous start as he ventures out into the big bad world,” added Colin.
Despite his huge win, Callum, who is a member of Kilkeel Golf Club and plays Gaelic football for his local team Ballymartin, remains level-headed and has no immediate plans to go on a spending spree with his new-found wealth.
“I think I’ll buy a car when I turn 17 and learn to drive,” he said, “and as a big Manchester United fan, I’m sure I’ll go to Old Trafford a few times this season.
“Other than that, I don’t really have any other plans to spend the money. I’ll give some to my family and save the rest for a rainy day,” continued Callum.
Callum, who has three younger sisters, helps his mum Sheila out in his spare time in the family’s grocery shop, something that isn’t about to change as a result of his win.
“Mum says I have to continue helping her out in the shop,” he said. “I don’t mind though – it’s something I enjoy doing. I’m lucky to have a great life and brilliant family and I don’t want the money to change any of that.”
Callum bought his winning ticket at the Tesco on Castlewellan Road in Newcastle.