Friday 26 May 2017

A lotto brotherly love as winner shares €3m jackpot with sister

Mark Furlong and his partner Gillian Ryan (left) toast their good luck after collecting the cheque yesterday for his Lotto winnings,
which he will share with his sister, Michelle Sinnott
Mark Furlong and his partner Gillian Ryan (left) toast their good luck after collecting the cheque yesterday for his Lotto winnings, which he will share with his sister, Michelle Sinnott

Grainne Cunningham and Conor Kane

THERE is honour among Lotto winners, one man proved yesterday, as he split his multi-million euro jackpot with his sister -- just because he said he would.

Mark Furlong, from Morrisson's Avenue, Waterford shared his €2,835,221 win with his sister, Michelle Sinnott, because the pair had always promised each other that if either of them ever won the lottery, they would split it between them.

And yesterday, both of them said their lives would not change dramatically as a result of their windfall.

Mark, who runs a baby accessories shop in Waterford, said he would be back at work as usual but that he and his partner of 10 years, Gillian Ryan, might "change the car or buy a house".

Asked if the couple, who have two daughters, Holly (4) and Becky (3), might consider using some of the money to pay for their 'big day out', Mr Furlong joked: "At least she won't say no now."

He then added: "It's nice money... but I won't be moving to Spain or anything."

His sister, Michelle, was equally unruffled by her good fortune. She said the €1.4m would help pay for college funds for her two boys, Kyle and Aaron, aged eight and four, and would finally enable the family to make a trip to Disneyland.

Mark said he got the winning numbers from a gypsy in Blackpool "years ago" and had played them every week since. Neither he nor Michelle have any plans to stop playing their numbers after their jackpot.

Their win was a half-share of the Lotto jackpot of €5,670,443 from the draw on February 27. The other share, which was bought in Loughrea, Co Galway, has yet to be collected.

Meanwhile, another winner from Waterford picked up her €100,000 prize after her local radio station announced that the winnings were about to go unclaimed.



Dumbfounded

Christine Coady was given a Millionaire raffle ticket as a Christmas present by her grandmother, Margaret Coady -- but she was within days of missing out on her good fortune.

Fortunately, her nan heard the WLR announcement and told Christine to check her ticket.

Christine said she was so "dumbfounded" when she realised she had won that she had to sit in her car for 45 minutes.

"I even had to break my 24-hour Trocaire fast to have a cup of strong tea with sugar, just to try to calm my shaking hands."

Christine, who works as a special needs assistant in Waterford, now plans to use the money to put down a deposit on a house, as well as buying a new car and looking after her family.

"I'd just like to say a very, very special 'thank you' to my nan for giving me this great start -- I still can't believe it's happened to me," she said.

Irish Independent

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