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Thursday 18 October 2018

Football star Kevin hits the back of the net with €1m Lottery triumph

Kevin (centre) with, from left, brother Brian O’Connor, godmother Margaret Murphy, godfather Peadar Murphy, mum Breda O’Connor and dad Brian O’Connor. Photo: Mac Innes photography.
Kevin (centre) with, from left, brother Brian O’Connor, godmother Margaret Murphy, godfather Peadar Murphy, mum Breda O’Connor and dad Brian O’Connor. Photo: Mac Innes photography.

Irish football star Kevin O'Connor has scooped €1m on the National Lottery.

The Preston North End player validated his winning millionaire ticket in his local supermarket in Castlebridge yesterday morning.

O'Connor became Ireland's first millionaire of 2018 when he scooped the massive amount in the National Lottery Christmas Millionaire Raffle on New Year's Eve.

Having joined Preston North End just a few months back, the lucky footballer returned home on Monday night knowing exactly what was going on having been informed on his lucky draw.

Winning

It was a lucky Christmas present for the former Cork City player, who had a leading role in the Rebel side's league and cup double before joining the English Championship club,

Kevin was given the ticket from his godfather and uncle, Peadar Murphy, who lives in Castlebridge, Co Wexford, near Flanagan's Centra Supermarket where he bought the winning ticket on December 14.

Peadar posted the ticket to Kevin with a Christmas message saying "I wish you the best of luck", little knowing that it was to become such a valuable piece of paper.

Kevin with girlfriend Chloe O’Leary. Photo: Mac Innes photography.
Kevin with girlfriend Chloe O’Leary. Photo: Mac Innes photography.

As soon as the winning ticket became known, Peadar was one of the first in contact with his godchild to congratulate him on his luck.

The new millionaire visited Flanagan's Supermarket yesterday morning, where he was greeted by the supermarket proprietor, Louis Flanagan, and members of the staff, along with early morning customers.

"Once the ticket was validated I asked Kevin for a hold of the ticket so I could become a millionaire for a few short seconds," said Mr Flanagan.

"I was delighted for Kevin and his parents, Brian and Breda. One could not meet a nicer person or family. When he came into the supermarket along with his girlfriend it was the very same Kevin of old. He has not changed one bit. He is as nice a person as one could meet."

Mr Flanagan revealed he could not believe it when contacted by the National Lottery.

Ticket

"I was out collecting vegetables when I took the call from the National Lottery. I asked if I had won the Lotto, the response was swift - no, not yourself, but you sold the winning millionaire draw ticket.

"When I spoke to Kevin he was all over the place. He did not know what to do about the ticket or where to go, but the National Lottery were really nice about it and spoke with him.

"It's great for Kevin and his family, while it's also put Castlebridge on the map."

Having had such a busy schedule with Preston North End over the Christmas and New Year period, Kevin will be returning to the Deepdale club to join the preparations for his Championship game this weekend.

Prior to opting for a soccer career, Kevin was an excellent Gaelic football player having played under-age for Wexford, his local club Shelmaliers and St. Peter's College, Wexford, where he received his second-level education.

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