Preston footballer Kevin O'Connor wins €1m on lottery with Xmas present ticket

3 January 2018, 09:28

A footballer has won €1m after his uncle gave him the winning Euromillions ticket as a Christmas present.

Kevin O'Connor, a defender for Championship side Preston North End, claimed the prize, worth £900,000, over the New Year when he returned to his native Ireland after the Christmas fixture against Middlesbrough.

He had been given the ticket by his uncle and godfather Paedar Murphy, but had not watched the draw, and only checked his ticket when his mother heard the winning numbers had been bought locally.

O'Connor said: "After some searching, I sent them a picture of the ticket but I never really believed that it was the winner of the €1m prize.

"We had a game with Middlesbrough on Monday night so I completely put it to the back of my head until after the final whistle."

O'Connor, 22, signed for Preston last year after helping Cork City win the league and the cup double.

Despite the huge win, he says he remains focused on his football, and will return to Deepdale for the FA Cup fixture against Wycombe this weekend.

"It's been an incredible two days and I don't think the win has sunk in yet. I have no immediate plans but will take a few days before we make any decisions," O'Connor said.

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

"My main focus at the moment is to help Preston climb the Championship and hopefully challenge for a Premier League spot over the next couple of months."

O'Connor, who has represented the Republic of Ireland at under-21 level, collected his prize wearing an Ireland shirt with 'O'Connor, 1 Million' on the back.