Footballer becomes lottery millionaire

Image copyright PA
Image caption O’Connor (centre) was given the ticket by his uncle (centre left) as a present

An Irish footballer has scored his first big victory of 2018 by winning a millionaire lottery.

Preston North End’s Kevin O’Connor was visiting family in Ireland when he found out he had won a million euros.

His uncle Peader Murphy bought him the Irish National Lottery ticket as a present from a shop in Castlebridge, County Wexford on 14 December.

He said he had “no immediate plans” for the money and his “main focus” was helping his team climb up the league.

The defender said he had been told to check his numbers by his mother Breda after she heard the winning numbers had been sold locally.

“After some searching, I sent them a picture of the ticket, but I never really believed that it was the winner of the one million euro prize,” he said.

The windfall came two days after O’Connor was an unused substitute in his side’s 3-2 defeat by Middlesbrough on New Year’s day.

Image copyright National Lottery
Image caption O’Connor’s uncle posted the ticket with a special message

O’Connor, who signed for the Championship side in July after helping Cork City win a league and cup double in the Irish Republic, added it had been “an incredible two days”.

“I don’t think the win has sunk in yet,” he said.

“I have no immediate plans but it will take a few days before we make any decisions.

“The important part of today was having my family with me, so they will be at the forefront of any plans.”

The 22-year-old, who is originally from Wexford, has represented his country at under-21 level.

Preston face Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday in the FA Cup third round.

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