IT’S official. Northern Ireland is enjoying a lucky Lottery streak.
The National Lottery today revealed that no fewer than 95 millionaires have been created in Northern Ireland since the very first Lotto draw on Saturday November 19, 1994.
Even more interesting though is the fact that more than half of Northern Ireland’s growing number of Lottery millionaires have hit the jackpot in the last five years!
Amazingly, a total of 48 new millionaires have struck Lottery gold in the period from January 1, 2011 until March 31, 2016 – which equates on average to one new millionaire every 39.9 days.
Lottery mathematicians have also revealed that the average number of millionaires per year from Northern Ireland is steadily increasing – a sure sign that, just like Belfast’s world champion boxer Carl Frampton, ‘our wee country’ is punching above its weight on the Lottery ‘Luck-O-Meter’.
The statistics, which include winners who have gone public and those who haven’t, show that since the National Lottery began in 1994, there has been an average of 4.4 millionaires per year from Northern Ireland. When we narrow this down to the last 10 years, that figure rises to 6.2 per year, and then further again to 8.8 millionaires per year over the past five years.
Andy Carter, Senior Winners’ Advisor for The National Lottery, the man who pays out the big winners, said: “There’s definitely something in the Northern Ireland water in recent years which is making it one of the luckiest postcode areas in the UK.
“It took more than 15 years to create our first 47 millionaires here but just over five years to create the next 48! It’s incredible to think that over 50 per cent of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery millionaires have been created since January 2011.
“We can’t put it down to anything other than lady luck so we would advise players in Northern Ireland to make the most of this luck on your doorstep while it lasts. With the total number of millionaires in Northern Ireland now sitting at 95, surely the 100thcan’t be too far away, which really will be quite a milestone for the region.”
It’s not just millionaires who have had their lives changed by the National Lottery, with 695 ‘high tier’ winners from Northern Ireland scooping prizes of £50,000 or more.
This means that, on average, someone in Northern Ireland has won a massive National Lottery prize EVERY 11.3 DAYS since 1994.
In fact, in the more recent period from March 2013 until March 31, 2016, a prize of more than £50k has been won in Northern Ireland EVERY 7.7 DAYS on average – with a total of 146 ‘high tier’ winners in this 37 month period
Overall, one in every 2,060 of the 16+ population in Northern Ireland has won a National Lottery prize of over £50K.
Local winners who have shared news of their win recently include Ross Hearst from County Armagh who scooped a massive £4m on a National Lottery Scratchcard in January this year. Derry woman Anne Canavan and Belfast man Martin McKenna also became Scratchcard millionaires in 2015, whilst Northern Ireland’s biggest winner in recent years was Belfast lady Mary Hamilton who picked up a staggering £12,935,936 Euromillions jackpot in November 2014.
“There are now a massive 4,250 National Lottery millionaires across the UK and with more than 6 new millionaires made every week, hopefully there is likely to be another Northern Ireland winner made soon,” said The National Lottery’s Andy Carter.
It isn’t just individuals winning big, the entire community benefits from the money raised by The National Lottery. Last year alone, more than £40 million of National Lottery funding was awarded in Northern Ireland with a total of 957 Lottery grants providing a vital boost to arts, sports and heritage projects alongside community groups helping those most in need.
A wide variety of local projects received National Lottery grants last year, including:
- £700,000 to Women’s Aid Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey for their Family First project to provide help to families who have experience domestic violence from the Big Lottery Fund.
- £199,400 to the Nerve Centre in Derry for their Creative Centenaries exhibition, events and outreach programme from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
- £44,632 to the Ulster Youth Choir from Arts Council Northern Ireland.
- £8,096 to Foyle Down Syndrome Trust in Derry to provide weekly football sessions for young people with Down Syndrome from Sport NI.