Preston North End fullback Kevin O’Connor got a hell of a present from his uncle this Christmas.
O’Connor’s uncle, Peadar Murphy, mailed him a ticket for Ireland’s Christmas Millionaire Raffle and wrote “I wish you the best of luck.” He really did have the best of luck, because he won the €1 million prize. The drawing was on Sunday night and he showed up at the supermarket in rural County Wexford on Tuesday to confirm the win.
As thrilled as O’Connor must have been, though, it seems like the owner of the store where the ticket was sold was just as excited.
“Once the ticket was validated I asked Kevin for a hold of it [the ticket] so I could become a millionaire for a few short seconds,” shop owner Louis Flanagan told the Irish Times.
When the National Lottery called Flanagan to inform him the ticket was sold at his store, he held out hope he was the winner.
“I was out collecting vegetables when I took the call ... I asked if I had won the lotto and the response was swift: no not yourself but you sold the winning millionaire draw ticket,” he told the Times.
O’Connor may be a pro athlete but he plays in England’s second tier, so €1 million is still life-changing money for him. But it’s right back to work for him this week. Preston has an FA Cup third round tie against Wycombe this Saturday.