A 68-year-old man has sprung a windfall after scooping over £1 million on the National Lottery.
Jim McLoughlin, a former plumber’s mate, had not realised he had won for almost a week.
Mr McLoughlin bought the ticket for the EuroMillions draw on 26 August when the weather had been cool.
After putting the ticket in his coat pocket he promptly forgot all about it and, due to warmer temperatures, did not need his coat again for a couple of days.
Usually when bad weather spoils a run of sunny days, most of us are upset, but not so for Newry man Jim.
as a dip in temperature helped him on his way to becoming Northern Ireland’s latest EuroMillions Millionaire Maker winner.
After not needing his coat for a number of days, Jim, a former plumber’s mate, went looking for it when the temperature dropped.
“After some lovely hot weather it started to get a bit chilly,” said Jim.
“So I had a look around the house for my jacket which I hadn’t worn for a while.”
In fact, the last time Jim wore the jacket was when he purchased a ticket for the EuroMillions Mega Friday draw on August 26th.
Jim added: “When I put my hand in the pocket of my coat the ticket I bought was still there.
“So later that day, when I was shopping at my local SuperValu store, I asked the young lady behind the counter to check it for me. She duly took the ticket and once she put it into the machine a noise went off – the two of us just looked at each other wondering what was going on?
“It never once occurred to me that I was about to become a millionaire!
“The young girl called a member of her team over to check the machine and it was then that I discovered I was a lottery winner and the girls told me I needed to contact Camelot.
When Jim got home he called the number for the National Lottery.
He continued: “I was speaking to the adviser who confirmed that I had won £1m and the choice of whether to take a breathtaking Brazilian adventure or the cash equivalent. Well, I was absolutely stunned. Those words were never something I thought anyone would be saying to me.
“I asked her to check everything again, asked her was she sure? My mind was totally buzzing, I just couldn’t process what was happening to me.
“Not only had I won £1m but I also had the choice of a dream holiday or cash alternative. I don’t like travelling much so I took the cash which meant I had £46k to add to my win.”
After letting the news sink in Jim called his son Gary (34) and, like father like son, Gary was doubtful, thinking there had been some kind of mistake made.
“When I told Gary he simply didn’t believe me so he checked my numbers via the red button on my TV set and initially he thought it was all a mistake as he missed my winning code.
“So when he told me I was devastated! However, I asked him to check again and sure enough when he spotted my numbers he realised that it was all true and his dad had just become a millionaire!”
So what does the lucky man plan to do with his winnings?
“I want to help some friends and family out. I’d also like to buy my flat and totally renovate it and maybe buy a new car as well”, concluded Jim.
Every week EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker guarantees to create two millionaires – one on a Tuesday and one on a Friday.
For every EuroMillions line played, UK players automatically receive a UK Millionaire Maker code printed on their ticket.
Jim’s winning UK Millionaire Maker code was LTW882594.
The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners like Jim as well as communities across the UK for more than 21 years with players raising, on average, over £36 million for National Lottery-funded projects every week.
In Northern Ireland alone there have been well over 20,000 individual National Lottery grants awarded to individuals, organisations and projects across the arts, sports, heritage, health, education, environment, charity and voluntary sectors.