Footballer Scoops £900,000 Lotto Win After His Uncle Bought Him A Ticket As A Christmas Present

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Preston North End ace Kevin O’Connor grins as he collects winnings

FOOTBALLER Kevin O’Connor cracks a broad grin today as he collects a £900,000 lottery jackpot – from a ticket his uncle sent him in a Christmas card.

The 22-year-old Preston North End defender – who earns around £10,000 a week with the Championship club – was pictured heading into Lotto HQ with family to cash in his winnings.

Kevin’s windfall came hours after he sat on the subs bench for his side’s New Year’s Day defeat to Middlesbrough.

The Ireland Under-21 star returned home to Wexford on Monday night having been told his ticket had been drawn the night before in the Irish Lotto’s Millionaire’s Raffle.

His one million euro prize is worth around £887,000.

The ticket had been given to him by his godfather and uncle Peadar Murphy, who posted it to Kevin with a Christmas message saying: “I wish you the best of luck.”

Paedar bought the ticket on December 14 at Flanagan’s Centra Supermarket near his home in the village of Castlebridge.

This morning former Cork City left back Kevin dropped into the shop to validate the ticket before heading to Lotto HQ in Dublin.

Shop owner Louis Flanagan said: “Once the ticket was validated I asked Kevin for a hold of it so I could become a millionaire for a few short seconds.

“I was delighted for Kevin and his parents, Brian and Breda.

“One could not meet a nicer person or family. When he came into the supermarket along with his girlfriend, it was the very same Kevin of old.

“He has not changed one bit. He is as nice a person as one could meet.

“Kevin got to where he is today the hard way. If I was to pick a person to win I could not have done any better.

“It’s wonderful and with such a nice family I have still hope in this world.”

Louis revealed he could not believe it when contacted by the National Lottery.

He said: “I asked if I had won the Lotto. The response was swift, ‘no, not yourself but you sold the winning millionaire draw ticket’.

“When I spoke to Kevin he was all over the place. He did not know what to do about the ticket or where to go but the National Lottery were really nice about it and spoke with him.

“It’s great for Kevin, his family and his godfathers, while it’s also put Castlebridge on the map.”

Kevin is expected to return to training with the Deepdale club ahead of their Championship game this weekend.

Yesterday we told how Britain’s thriftiest Lotto winner is still living in his tiny family home and working as a furniture restorer 20 years after scooping a £12.3million jackpot.

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