EuroMillions Winners Michael and Jean O’Shea won the lotto jackpot in draw number 88 on 14th October 2005. The winning numbers which they matched in the EuroMillions results were 10, 11, 19, 20 and 23, while the Lucky Stars were 1 and 6. They scooped £10,215,000.
At the time, they promised “We’ll never be any different, no matter how much money we have.” True to his word, Michael O’Shea has pocketed £31,500 in state hand-outs, not forfeiting his benefits after becoming a EuroMillions lottery multi-millionaire. Mr O’Shea, a 73-year-old retired builder, isn’t in the least bit ashamed. “I worked for 40 years and I’m entitled to it. I’ve got osteoarthritis in my legs and rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. We really only use the car (a mobility car) to go to the shops.”
The EuroMillions lotto jackpot winning couple have also built a five-bedroom mansion in County Kerry, Ireland, the place where Mr O’Shea grew up. If they move there permanently, he’d lose his benefits because welfare payments in Ireland are means-tested, unlike in Britain where they are not. The couple spend most of the year at their council house in Nottingham, which they bought for £5,000 in 1977, which means they are still entitled to claim disability benefits.
The Irish house, which is worth an estimated £700,000, has two huge reception rooms, a bar and separate dining area, and three enormous bedrooms. Their extensive landscaped gardens and patio are lit at night by ornate lanterns. There is also a guest house in the grounds, with its own satellite dish. Just up the road is another detached home which locals report was built for Mr O’Shea’s sister, Anne.
Not alone in splashing out on a new property, mysterious 2011 winner Francisco Delgado Rodriguez was said to have bought a Seville based luxury duplex valued at €1.2 million.
Despite his decision to play EuroMillions making him a millionaire, Michael defended his benefit claims. The EuroMillions lottery winner said “I worked for 40 years and I’m entitled to it. I’ve been getting it since about 1996. I declared the win to the authorities at the time, but it doesn’t matter as it’s not means tested. “I’ve got osteoarthritis in my legs and rheumatoid arthritis in my hands, and I’ve just had my hip done. It’s been better recently, but some days I can’t get out of bed.
“We only do about 2,000 miles a year in the car. We only really use it to go to the shops. His wife Jean said “Michael needs it. It’s for his eyesight and arthritis. We’re entitled to it.” A male relative looking after their Irish property said the news story highlighted by the Daily Mail had been ‘blown out of proportion’ and added “They are just taking what they are entitled to. People need to leave them alone. It is causing them a lot of upset.”
The ex-scaffolder and his wife also still shop at ASDA despite striking lucky with the winning EuroMillions lottery numbers. They are said to still go looking for a bargain and enjoy a weekly Friday night treat of fish and chips or a Chinese takeaway. Despite this, Michael and Jean made two concessions with their sudden EuroMillions lottery wealth. The pensioners replaced their old Vauxhall Zafira with a new model of exactly the same car. They also splashed out on holidays to Alaska, Australia and Canada. They gave £1 million each to their children and invested £500,000 in a trust fund for their grandchildren.
The EuroMillions winners used a combination of their three children’s birthdays and their wedding anniversary when choosing their winning numbers, beating odds of 76,275,360 to one.
You can see what the most commonly drawn winning numbers are in our EuroMillions draw results statistics section.
If you want to read about some of the other biggest winners then you can take a look at our EuroMillions Winners Overview.