A shopping trip for charity turned into a Christmas that Derry housewife Stephanie Harkin will never forget after striking it rich on a National Lottery scratchcard.
Stephanie (28), from Drumahoe was in her local Tesco store on Thursday 17 December buying Christmas presents for a school charity project when she decided to pick up a Diamond Riches Scratchcard. The mum of two could not believe her eyes when the card revealed she had matched three Diamonds to bag a massive £100,000 – making a dream come true.
“I’ve always dreamed of winning a lot of money but never really thought it would happen to me,” said Stephanie. “My two young sons had to bring a present to school the next day to place under the Christmas tree for St Vincent de Paul, so we all went along with my mum to Tesco on Lisnagelvin Road to buy the presents. While we were there, I bought myself a Diamond Riches Scratchcard which I scratched in the foyer as we were waiting for my mum to finish up her shopping.
“Once I saw the three diamonds, I knew that I had won a large amount as I’d played this card before, but I didn’t want to get too excited,” continued Stephanie. “I checked the amounts on the card and when my mum returned, I kept telling her quietly that I’d won a hundred grand. I kept my voice down as I didn’t want to make a scene but I was completely shaking all over and couldn’t even remember the pin number to unlock my phone and call my husband” she added.
When she finally remembered the pin number and called her husband Kieran, a 33-year-old mechanic who runs his own business, he didn’t believe her and told her to go to the checkout desk and ask the shop assistant to check the scratchcard.
“The girl behind the counter looked at my card and got visibly excited before telling me that she couldn’t pay me over the counter as I’d won £100k!” described Stephanie. “I had to calm myself down before I was fit to drive, then drove home to Kieran and we called the National Lottery straight away, who confirmed that we had won!” she added.
Luckily for Stephanie, all of her Christmas shopping had already been sorted when she struck it lucky so she has had time to relax with her family and think about how to spend her new found fortune.
The New Year will now bring a dream family trip to Disneyland Paris, as well as a sun holiday in Benidorm.
“We had a truly lovely Christmas, made all the better with that warm fuzzy feeling that a hundred grand in the bank can give you,” said Stephanie. “Now we can’t wait to get away on holiday – especially our trip to Disney for the first time, as I know the boys will absolutely love it.
“Apart from that, our feet will remain firmly on the ground,” she continued. “We are a very close family, my family is my life and we will continue to love our lives together as we always have.”
Stephanie’s winning Diamond Riches Scratchcard cost just £2 and offers a 1 in 4.24 overall chance of winning a prize, which can range from £2 to the top prize of £100,000.
“It’s still hard to take it all in,” concluded Stephanie. “The most I’ve ever won before is £10 so this win really is a dream come true for me. You never think that it’ll happen to you but I’m proof to everyone out there that it can!”