LOTTO millionaire Carol Loran has had to scrimp and save all her life – but a €10.6m jackpot win has changed everything.
Carol (39) – who was 15 when she had her first child – and her new boyfriend Kevin Geoghegan arrived at Lotto HQ in Dublin yesterday in a Rolls-Royce to collect their massive cheque.
The couple had only been dating three weeks, when they scooped the prize in last Wednesday's draw.
But the scene was a far cry from Carol's life up to then, with the mother-of-five battling to make ends meet in her younger days.
"It would have been tough," she told the Herald when asked about having to survive as a young mum.
"That's why I'm as strong as I am today. I've always struggled," said the Boylesports worker, whose eldest child will be 24 soon.
Her sister Diane said the Lotto win won't change Carol.
"She's still the same. She has a head on her. She's very sensible," Diane said.
"She can enjoy herself now. She didn't have it the easiest. She always had to scrimp and save," Diane told the Herald.
With the capital bathed in sunshine, Carol and Kevin (46) climbed out of the swish Rolls just after 1pm yesterday and were handed glasses of champagne.
Dozens of family and friends arrived in Dublin from their hometown of Mullingar, Co Westmeath, in a 52-seater coach, which was hired for the occasion.
For father-of-three Kevin, who is divorced, the win will allow him to pursue his love of golf.
"It's serious money. It's life-changing. I got lucky, but that's the way it goes," he told the Herald.
Kevin always loved the game, but has never been able to afford to apply himself to it properly.
His father passed away at the age of 42, leaving his mother Jane to bring up 10 children – five boys and five girls.
"My mother is a star. She's my hero. She's 77 and she's still alright. She was delighted," he said.
Kevin was down on his luck before the win, family friend Bob Brady said.
"He had no euros. He rang his mother (to tell her) and then he rang me straight away. Everybody said 'did you believe him' and I said I did, because Kevin would never joke about that," Bob said.
Ironically, on the morning he was to collect the Lotto cheque, Kevin received a statement from his bank – his balance was zero.
Kevin's children Fergal (14), Aoife (11) and eight-year-old Ciaran were all over the moon with the win.