THANKS A MILLION!
Lottery winners from Northern Ireland celebrated in style today as The National Lottery announced that it has now created 4,000 millionaires since the very first draw in November 1994.
Records show that 4,000 winners have now joined the lucky lottery millionaires club, sharing a £55 billion prize pot – with a current average of six new millionaires created every week.
In Northern Ireland, a total of 88 millionaires have been created with a combined prize money of a massive £260 million.
The most recent additions to Northern Ireland’s growing lottery millionaire list are County Down banker Martin McKenna who won £1 million on a scratchcard last month and Derry-based inventor Anne Canavan who recently struck lucky in the EuroMillions Mega Friday Draw in which she won £1 million and an exclusive private island getaway in the Cambodian Islands.
Northern Ireland has definitely been on a hot streak in recent years as the National Lottery has revealed that, of the 88 millionaires created since 1994, almost half of them have been created in the past five years.
Since January 2011, no fewer than 41 millionaires have been created in Northern Ireland, which is a staggering average of one EVERY 42 DAYS*.
A National Lottery spokesperson said: “We are absolutely delighted to have reached this exciting milestone. It’s incredible to think that there have been 4,000 players that have become a millionaire thanks to a life-changing lottery win and an amazing 88 of them have come from Northern Ireland.
“Whether they believed in luck or fate and no matter how they have spent their winnings, each winner followed the same path; they simply bought a ticket or a scratchcard and joined the lottery millionaires club as a result. The National Lottery is now creating more millionaires than ever before and we can’t wait to see how many more winners in Northern Ireland join the ever-growing club.”
Northern Ireland has had its fair share of millionaire winners since the draw began in 1994.
The largest individual Lotto winner remains Irish Jeffrey from Belfast who won £20.1 million on July 7, 2004, while one of the country’s best known lottery winners is former bus-driver Peter Lavery, now a very successful businessman, who won a whopping £10.2 million on May 18, 1996.
In November last year, life changed for Belfast lady Mary Hamilton after she bagged a massive EuroMillions jackpot of £12.9 million, while Newry man Simon Savage hit the headlines a month later when he won £1.7 million on the Lotto.
Alongside the thousands of millionaires created so far, The National Lottery has also made a huge difference to communities across the UK. Players have so far raised £34 billion for Good Causes, benefitting more than 450,000 individual projects.
More than 20,000 grants, totaling well over £1 billion have been awarded to Northern Ireland individuals, organisations and projects across arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport and the voluntary sector.
The first National Lottery draw took place on Saturday 19 November, 1994. An amazing 22 million people watched as Noel Edmonds hosted the draw which saw seven jackpot winners each scoop £839,254. The first millionaire was created in the second draw on the following Saturday.
The National Lottery is available to play at retailers throughout Northern Ireland or online at www.national-lottery.co.uk.
* based on the 57 month period from January 1 2011 to September 30 2015