Lorna McIlhatton
Lorna McIlhatton
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FAMILIES in the Ballymoney and Armoy areas are celebrating the success of Northern Ireland’s latest lottery winners.

Paddy and Gail Millar’s scooped just short of £2m. in the Euro Millions draw last weekend and their huge windfall has delighted Gail’s family who originally come from the Finvoy area.

Her four sisters and one brother live locally and are now looking forward to a big family get together to celebrate the success.

One sister, Lorna, from Armoy told the Times that she can’t wait to share in Gail and Paddy’s good fortune.

“I got a phone call from my sister, Alison, who said she had something to tell me. I thought it was bad news, but when I heard it was a lottery win, I was over the moon.

“To be honest, it was all very surreal especially when I watched Paddy and Gail on the television. I thought that’s my sister and brother in law and they’ve won the lottery. You only ever see it happening to someone else,” Lorna said.

On Sunday, Lorna said she was still waiting to speak to her sister who was in Dublin for the weekend.

“We are a very close family and we’ll all come together for a party. The win couldn’t have gone to two nicer people. They are so kind, but then what else do you expect from nurses,” Lorna said.

Neighbours of Lorna have been coming up to her and saying how good it was for someone in her family to win millions.

“Everyone thinks it’s just great,” Lorna said.

Paddy, originally came from Coleraine, and when the win was confirmed he admitted he cried. He admitted that he didn’t check his numbers properly until two days after the draw.

It dawned on him that they had won by mistake - one of his lucky digits was actually the wrong age for his wife. Gail is 49 - but Paddy picked the number 48 accidently much to their good fortune.

He added: “On Sunday, I checked my numbers and on the very last line was five numbers and one lucky star. I was on my own at the time, sitting in the car. I just couldn’t believe that I had six numbers out of seven.

”Paddy said that he looked up the numbers again on the TV, before ringing Camelot for confirmation.”

It wasn’t the first time he had announced that he’d won the lottery - to later find out that it was only a few pounds.

The new millionaires, who have two daughters aged 11 and 17, are both nurses.

Gail has worked night shifts for the last ten years in order to care for the girls by day. She described their win as “lifechanging.”

The delighted mum said that she hoped the public would be pleased for them because they work hard.

The only thing on Gail’s wishlist at present is maybe a new car and it’s rumoured that a new home may be on the cards.

It isn’t the first time that the village of Armoy has shared in a lottery success. Damian Gillen won almost £140,000 in the national lottery after purchasing his ticket at Armoy Post office.