'I never won anything in my life except when I won Nicola' - Electrician who is Ireland's latest lotto winner
A Lotto win has lit up the life of electrician Declan Ward.
He won €170,000 with a Match 5 Plus 1 in last Saturday’s Lotto draw.
There was already a sparkle in his life since he surprised his girlfriend Nicola McEneaney (28) with a diamond engagement ring on holiday in California last month.
The couple were on the pier in Santa Monica when he popped the question to a delighted Nicola.
“I never won anything in my life except, of course, when I won Nicola,” said Declan (32) .
The couple picked up the winning cheque at Lotto headquarters in Dublin in the company of family members, including Declan’s parents Noel and Rita.
The couple are both from Castleblaney, County Monaghan, where they have been building a new home outside the town.
They had just returned from their dream holiday and engagement celebrations in the US when Declan’s good fortune increased with a lucky quick-pick Lotto ticket.
He bought the ticket in the Londis store in Castleblaney.
When he checked the ticket days later in a shop in Hackballscross, the machine stated he should contact Lotto headquarters.
“I didn’t know how much I’d won but after misreading the information, I thought I’d won €17,000. But it turned out to be €170,000,” he said.
He immediately telephoned Nicola, a community nurse in Dundalk, with the good news.
“I thought he was joking,” she said.
The couple are delighted with the win and will be celebrating the €170,867 win with “a wee hooley” this weekend.
They had expected their holiday in America to be their last big spending for a long time because of the expenses of building a house and saving for the wedding.
Declan is a big fan of fighter Conor McGregor and they decided to fly from California to Las Vegas for his showdown with Floyd Mayweather.
Seeing the fight was a dream come true for Declan.
Now, their future together has got a great bonus with Declan’s big win.
Declan said: “I’m absolutely thrilled.
“The win could not have come at a better time as our house has just been built and we have the funds to furnish it.
“We’ve been working hard and saving to get it built over the past few years and now we have the funds to furnish it.
“It’s a really exciting time”.
When asked what else he plans for his windfall he said: “I haven’t really thought much further than the house,” he said..
“I’m sure we will put a bit aside for the wedding and we hope to get another holiday in before the end of the year”.
He has also just set up his own business ‘Monoelectrical’.
The Lotto jackpot is still rolling and will be an estimated €4 million for tonight’s draw.