Lotto winner’s pension cut

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The Inishowen grandmother who famously scooped a cool 2.6 million euro in the Lotto has revealed she had her pension cut as a result.

Kathleen McLaughlin from Carraigmaquigley, Redcastle, had her lucky break at the start of December when a four euro quick pick bought at Farren’s newsagents in Moville won her 2.6 million euro.

The 78 year-old grandmother of 28 was joyful on a trip with her family to Lotto HQ in Dublin.

But just four months later, speaking to RTE’s Nationwide, Mrs McLaughlin revealed that since she won her tax-free sum, the government has stopped her state pension.

Speaking on Monday night, the popular gran said she never needed the money but she was surprised when old age pension was stopped.

Surrounded by her family, Mrs McLaughlin joked: “I want my pension, it’s no odds about the [Lotto] money.

“I lost my pension over the head of it. I never thought something like that would happen but it did,” she admitted.

In the programme which focused on 25 years of the National Lottery, the millionairess showed off her one and only purchase with her winnings - a black leather three piece - which she revealed she doesn’t even sit on.

The popular Inishowen woman admitted she still attends the bingo “for a bit of craic” six nights a week.

She said the night she found out she won the money she went on the bus and bought all her friends their bingo ‘books’ that night.

“I won £20 that night and the rest of them won nothing,” she added.

Kathleen’s daughter Eileen McLaughlin told the cameras that her mum “will never change”, while her son, Dan-Joe, said how she “helped them all out” and “made a big difference” to them all.

He said: “I think that gave her the most pleasure out of it all. She has her health, she’s out every day doing things outside and that gives her her happiness. And we’re all delighted for her. We’re all very grateful.”

Eileen added: “We’re all content now we’ve mortgages, and we can do what we want. That’s the best thing about it for everyone.”

Kathleen said she “put in a new door” and a “ramp for Robbie” and said “that’s all the money I’m spending.

“I hate travelling, I hate planes and I don’t do well on boats, so I’m happy to enjoy myself at home,” concluded Mrs McLaughlin.