Derry winners celebrate 25 years of the Lottery

To mark the 25th birthday of The National Lottery, a group of lucky winners from Northern Ireland gathered at the part-lottery funded Titanic Belfast.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 2:50 pm

It was there that they posed for a unique celebratory photo on the famous Titanic Staircase.

The first-ever National Lottery draw was held on 19 November 1994 and since then 133 lottery millionaires have been created in NI.

The lottery line-up included Derry-based inventor Anne Canavan. She won a life-changing sum of £1,000,000 in a EuroMillions ‘Mega Friday Draw’ in September 2015. As well as pocketing the cash, Anne also won an exclusive luxury ‘Private Island Getaway’ for herself and her four children on the tropical Song Saa Island in Cambodia.

Celebrating in style are (l-r) Anne Canavan (£1M, September 2015) and daughter Cressida, Eithne and Colin Bell (£1M, June 2017), Stephen Inglis (£35K, August 2016) and son Ian, Mary Hamilton ((£12.9M, November 2014) with nieces Antoinette and Kathy, Claire Marks (£250K, February 2015) and husband Clifford, and Stephanie Harkin (£100K, December 2015) with husband Kieran.

Derry woman Stephanie Harkin was also present at the event. On 17 December 2015, Stephanie was in her local Tesco store buying Christmas presents for a school charity project. On a whim, she decided to pick up a Diamond Riches scratchcard and bagged a massive £100,000 in the process.

As The Lottery celebrates 25 years, NI is officially one of the luckiest postcode regions in the UK. It ranks second out of 121 UK postcodes in the overall league table of National Lottery millionaires, with 133 millions created here since the first Lotto draw on 19 November 1994.

More than a quarter of all NI’s millionaires to date have been made in the past three years. This makes it officially the most fortuitous period ever for local National Lottery players, with a ticket-holder winning a million pounds or more every 32 days on average.

Across the last 25 years The National Lottery has transformed the United Kingdom. £40 billion has been raised for Good Causes with 565,00 grants across arts, sport, heritage, and community. That’s the equivalent of 200 life-changing projects in every UK postcode district. Players have banked £71 billion in prizes and 5,500 millionaires have been made. In NI more than £1.2bn has been awarded in National Lottery grants to over 25,000 individuals, organisations, and projects.