Thursday 25 May 2017

Grandmother (77) gets tasty treat with €2.6m Lotto win

Kathleen McLaughlin (77), from Redcastle, Co Donegal €2.6m in the Lotto
Kathleen McLaughlin (77), from Redcastle, Co Donegal €2.6m in the Lotto

Linda McGrory and Greg Harkin

THE country's latest millionaire went to her weekly bingo as usual last night despite scooping a whopping €2.6m in the Lotto.

Kathleen McLaughlin (77), from Redcastle, Co Donegal, celebrated at teatime with her large family before catching the bus to the parish bingo in Buncrana.

The cool-as-a-cucumber pensioner wasn't at all fazed by her huge win.

"I don't know what to make of it, really. If I had got it 40 years ago, it would have been better use to me than getting it now at my age," she laughed. "But I'm happy for the family."

The mother of eight and grandmother of 28 checked her ticket, as usual, on the teletext yesterday, shortly after 9am.

"I seemed to have too many right numbers and I thought, 'This cannot be right,' so I called my daughter Eileen. I told her to put on the television and call the numbers out to me.

"She said, 'You've won the Lotto, Mammy. I'll be right down'."

Mrs McLaughlin, a retired home help, lives in a modest bungalow in Carrickmaquigley, Redcastle, with her husband, Robbie, a retired small farmer.

Her €2,642,046 scoop was the biggest ever National Lottery win in the Moville-Greencastle area.

She won it with a €4 Quick Pick purchased at Farren's Ice Cream Parlour, Moville, on Friday. The winning numbers were 4, 12, 14, 16, 21, 34 and the bonus was 22. Mrs McLaughlin has no special numbers and generally uses the Quick Pick option.

Holiday

Despite her massive windfall, she has no plans to change house or even take a holiday.

"I'll not be changing house, no way. I was on a plane once in my life and never again. I'll not be going on a foreign holiday, that's for sure."

Neither did she have plans to give up her favourite hobby, bingo.

"I wouldn't give up the bingo for all the hundreds or thousands in the world. Bingo is my favourite thing and I'll be going again tonight," she beamed.

Despite suffering the tragic death of her eldest son, Patrick (34), in a road accident some 20 years ago, Mrs McLaughlin considers herself lucky to have most of her grown-up children -- Eileen, Catherine, Paul, Michael, Gerard, Shaun and Dan Joe -- living nearby. "They are all very good to me," she added.

Denis Foynes, owner of Farren's, the ice cream shop where Kathleen bought her ticket, said it was the shop's first Lotto jackpot and that the win had brought a warm glow to the entire county.

"Goodness knows we've had enough bad news recently and I am delighted that someone local has won this sort of money," he said.

Irish Independent

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