Popular Dungiven joiner Kieran Kelly has a weekend of celebrations ahead of him after hitting the jackpot this week, winning an eye watering £91,000 in Wednesday’s National Lottery.
Speaking exclusively to the ‘Journal’ just hours after finding out his numbers came up, the ecstatic 48 year-old explained he won £90,778 on a lucky dip he bought at the last minute - literally - before the deadline for tickets closed at 7.30pm.
Feeling under the weather with the flu at work in Dublin on Thursday, he said his boss at IMAC told him to head home early.
“I got the bus up from Dublin and stopped at McCloskey’s newsagents on the way down home, at 25 past seven, and got five lucky dips,” he said, surrounded by excited family and friends. “I came on home and went to bed and never thought anymore of it until my mother Madeline checked the numbers in the morning. She said,‘You’ve five numbers, you’ve won a £1,000’. So I took a look and realised I had the bonus too!”
In complete disbelief, Kieran, well known to everyone in the town as ‘Warty’, rushed to McCloskeys on Main Street to check it out.
“I can’t believe it,” he said yesterday. “God it’s brilliant, just pure luck. Up until now I’ve only won a tenner. It’s happy days!”
While the news is still sinking in, Kieran said he would be celebrating in his local bars, McReynolds and The Arcade, with family and his long-time girlfriend.
Topping off his shopping list is a new car, trading in his eight-year-old trusty Toyota for something fancier. As for what he’ll do with the rest, he doesn’t know.
“I have my parents, Patsy and Madeline, and my brothers and a sister so I’ll see them right,” he pledged.
As for work, Kieran says: “I’ve a good job with IMAC, and I’ll take a couple of weeks off, but I won’t be giving it up!”
As soon as news of the frenzied scenes in McCloskeys hit the street, Lotto fever spread throughout the town with messages of congratulations flooding in.
“Kieran is a real character and the whole town is delighted for him. It’s great to have a bit of good news for a change, just fantastic,” said Colr. Sinn Fein Sean McGlinchey. “And maybe now he’ll marry his girlfriend!”
Barry McCloskey, the newsagent who sold Kieran the ticket, said he was delighted for him.
“He’s a real gregarious character, always full of joy,” Barry told the ‘Journal’. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer fella!”
Kieran is one of eight lucky winners in the UK which had five numbers and the bonus (28, 30, 33, 40, 44, and bonus number 16).