Soccer star Kevin nets €1m in Lotto win
An Irish soccer star has scored big by winning €1m on the National Lottery.
Preston North End player Kevin O'Connor has become the National Lottery's first millionaire of the year after winning on a ticket gifted to him by his godfather for Christmas.
The 22-year-old from Wexford travelled to Dublin yesterday with his girlfriend Chloe O'Leary and family members to collect his top prize from the Christmas Millionaire Raffle.
The former Cork City player had a leading role in the Leesiders' league and cup double before signing for the English outfit last summer.
Kevin's godfather and uncle, Peadar Murphy, bought the ticket for him in Flanagan's Centra Supermarket on December 14.
And the delighted winner, a full back with the English Championship club, announced he will be sharing his good fortune with his family. "Unknown to me, our local store in Castlebridge was announced as the winning shop for the Millionaire Raffle and my mam phoned me in a panic and told me to start looking for the ticket," he said.
"After some searching, I sent them a picture of the ticket but I never really believed that it was the winner of the €1m prize.
"We [Preston North End] had a game with Middlesbrough on Monday night so I completely put it to the back of my head until after the final whistle."
Kevin - who has made four appearances this season for the Deepdale side - added that his big win has not sunk in yet. He said: "I have no immediate plans but will take a few days before we make any decisions. The important part of today was having my family with me so they will be at the forefront of any plans."
As soon as the winning ticket became known, Mr Murphy was one of the first to get in touch with his godson to congratulate him on his luck. The new millionaire visited Flanagan's Supermarket yesterday morning, where he was greeted by the owner, Louis Flanagan, members of staff and customers. "When he [Kevin] came into the supermarket along with his girlfriend, it was the very same Kevin of old. He has not changed one bit," Mr Flanagan said.