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PRESENT WINS FOOTBALLER €1M IRISH LOTTO PRIZE

Preston North End are chasing promotion to the Premier League but one of their players has already had a great success. Kevin O’Connor won €1m playing the Irish Lotto draw at Christmas and he’s getting better results than the team he plays for.

The Irish footballer had a few days off and returned home to visit family and friends over the New Year. It was then that he discovered that he’d won €1m on the Irish Lotto but it was a real family affair as he explained when collecting his cheque from the National Lottery offices in Dublin.

His winning Irish Lotto ticket had been purchased for him on 14 December by his uncle and godfather Peadar Murphy, who lives in Castlebridge, Co Wexford as a Christmas present. Walker Bazemore from Maryland, USA, won $30,000 on a scratch card that was a birthday present from his sister.

However, it was his mother who told Kevin that there had been a 1m euros winning ticket sold locally and he should check his Irish Lotto ticket. The 22-year-old had more pressing matters on his mind with an important game against Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day and put the news of a possible lottery win to the back of his head until that game was over even though he was only a substitute.

His side lost 3-2 but it was Kevin who was the real winner. “After some searching, I sent them a picture of the ticket, but I never really believed that it was the winner of the €1m Irish Lotto prize.” O’Connor, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at under-21 level, collected his prize wearing an Ireland shirt with ‘O’Connor, 1 Million’ on the back.

The lucky winner has no immediate plans on how to spend his winnings, though a new player for Preston who have only won one of their last five league games might be helpful. £4.8m EuroMillions winners Lee and Sue Mullen invested £50,000 in Grimsby Town FC. Christine and Colin Weir, who won a £161m EuroMillions prize, paid off the debts of Scottish Premiership side Partick Thistle.

It’s the latest lottery success for current and former sports players. Former Chelsea player Terry Bradbury won a £5.5m UK Lotto jackpot. Danish footballer Tommy Bechmann won a five million-krone (£585,000) prize in the Danish Lottery months after giving up playing. In America, former American footballer Chuck Davis won $100,000 on the Cash 5 Lottery.

Why don’t you try your luck and purchase your tickets online at Lottery24.com.