Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Aye, dead on' - Charity couple react to £1m Lotto prize win

Eithne and Colin Bell toast their win
Eithne and Colin Bell toast their win
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The couple who won £1m (€1.14m) in the Northern Ireland National Lottery have revealed how they'll spend their prize.

Colin and Eithne Bell from Newry, Co Down have proved that good things happen to good people when it was revealed that the charitable couple had won the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker prize on Wednesday.

The couple founded a charity to help bring the remains of loved ones back to Ireland has won after they lost their 26-year-old son Kevin, in a hit-and-run accident in New York in 2013.

Speaking to Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One, Colin said the family had found it hard to believe they'd won the £1m prize.

"It was Wednesday evening at about 6.30 and we were watching the news. I decided to check my lottery ticket but the numbers were no good," he said of the night he discovered he was a millionaire.

Colin then checked his unique Millionaire Maker code online and discovered he had the winning ticket.

"I said to Eithne 'I think we won a million pounds' and she just said 'Aye, dead on'.

"We checked it again and went out to my daughter's house and she said checked too. We then rang Camelot and it just rolled from there," he said.

"I just couldn't believe it. It just so out of the blue really and so amazing."

The couple have six children and Colin said they plan to spend their money on their loved ones and set aside some money from their £1m windfall on a little treat for themselves.

"I know I'm getting two or three premium level tickets for Croke Park," Colin said.

"The wife wants a sunroom on the house and the rest will be for family. We'll spend it on the wider family circle."

The Bells said the lottery winnings will be "distinct" from their charity.

Since setting up the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust in 2014, they have helped repatriate the bodies of more than 200 Irish people from overseas.

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