Retired Donegal farmer picks up €500,000 Euromillions Plus winning cheque

Charlie Meehan, 84, from Manorcunningham, one of those winners is pictured with his wife Ruby and Son Niall and daughter Ann when he collected his winnings from the National Lottery HQ. Pic: Mac Innes Photography
Charlie Meehan, 84, from Manorcunningham, one of those winners is pictured with his wife Ruby and Son Niall and daughter Ann when he collected his winnings from the National Lottery HQ. Pic: Mac Innes Photography

An 84-year-old retired Donegal farmer and cancer survivor has picked up a EuroMillions Plus winning cheque for €500,000 from National Lottery headquarters – declaring having his health is like winning the Lotto for him.

Charlie Meehan, 84, from Manorcunningham, was one of two EuroMillions Plus winners who claimed €1 million between them on the same day.

Charlie, who decided to go public with his win, purchased his golden ticket at Barclay’s Newsagents in Raphoe for the EuroMillions Draw on February 5th.

Speaking from the National Lottery Winners Room with family members by his side he said: “It is nearly three weeks since I won this prize and it hasn’t had any great effect on me at this stage! I had cancer of the bladder in 2012 and spent several weeks in hospital. Thankfully I am still clear of cancer and that to me is more important than any money. This is the icing on the cake for me.”

Charlie said he checked his numbers on teletext on the night of his big win.

“I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to be absolutely sure so I woke my daughter Ann who was asleep in bed. She got an awful fright at first when I woke her up. She checked the numbers online and confirmed the win.”

Charlie, who has three children and four grandchildren, then woke his wife Ruby and told her they had come in to some money. “Her immediate reply was ‘How much’” he quipped!

Asked what he plans to do with his winnings he said: “There are a few women around the house who have their ask in! This will give us more comfort and I will look after my family. But nothing can compensate you for your health and once I am well I am happy.”

The second EuroMillions Plus claim of the day was made by a small family syndicate from Co. Offaly from the draw on Tuesday, February 12.

A spokesperson for the syndicate spoke of how their windfall will help them. She said: “It’s an incredible feeling. We’re not flash and this win certainly won’t change us. All I am thinking of is the security it will bring us. I often stress about things like what if the car breaks down? Or what if the pump in the shower goes? It’s these small things that this win will cover if they ever happen. Our luck will be a comfort blanket for us all and of course we will enjoy some of it.”

A member of the syndicate bought this lucky ticket at the Newsround shop in the Dunnes Shopping Centre in Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

The syndicate spokesperson went on to explain the moment she discovered that the family had won the €500,000 prize.

“It was a normal Wednesday morning and I was having my breakfast and I heard on the news bulletins on Midlands 103FM that someone in Offaly was half-a-million richer. I immediately thought – ‘that’s us’, so I went to my bag, pulled out the ticket and scanned it on the National Lottery app and it told me to contact the Lottery. I checked the numbers online and I started screaming”.

“I was home alone at the time so I started calling everyone and nobody would pick up the phone. I jumped in the car – I’m pretty sure I still had my dressing gown on! I drove to my daughter’s house and broke the good news there and eventually we got through to the others. I still can’t believe it”.

This has been an incredible week in the history of the National Lottery. Last Tuesday. February 19 a large family syndicate from North Dublin scooped a massive €175 million on EuroMillions draw – the highest every jackpot win in the life of the National Lottery.

And on Saturday a lucky player scooped €10.2 million on the Lotto jackpot – the highest roll in two years.