A COUPLE who scooped a £115million Euromillions jackpot STILL hunt for bargains – and have claimed their biggest purchase only cost £60,000.
Patrick and Frances Connolly, from Armagh, became the fourth-biggest lottery winners in HISTORY when they took home the eye-watering sum on New Year’s Day in 2019.
But – far from from splurging the funds like countless lotto winners before them -the couple gave away a whopping £60million of it to charity and family in need.
And now, two years on from their life-changing day, the pair have kept their frugality, with their biggest spend being a brand-new £60,000 electric Jaguar for 54-year-old Francis.
Retired teacher Francis told the Times: “When we won the lottery I said I wanted a second-hand car, and I really did.
“This year I changed that and I got an electric Jag for £60,000.
“It had to be new because there really aren’t any that are second-hand, but I’ll keep this and hope to God there will be a second-hand Jag by the time I’m finished with this one.
“I felt as if the extravagance of it was justified by the ecological benefits.”
The mum-of-three also told of her love for a good “bargain” – and claims she checks her bank account every month to see what she’s paying for gas and electricity.
She added: “It’s kind of hard to say we save now, because the bank is full of money, but I still have a sensible attitude towards it.
“I look for a bargain everywhere I go and check the bank every month to see what I’m paying for gas and electric.
“I’ve got a big jar with coppers and coins in it, it’s a whisky bottle, my dad gave it to me years ago. Everytime it gets full, it goes to charity.”
The eco-savvy couple have also used their every-growing income to better the world.
Frances added: “With one eye on the future, Paddy has invested a million pounds in the prototype for a new machine to put in people’s homes that will identify different materials before separating them.
“If you can separate plastics at source, then you can make something else out of them.”
But she stressed that the best investment was in charity – with the pair setting up two trusts: the Kathleen Graham Trust and the PFC Trust.
They kicked into action during the Covid-19 pandemic by providing PPE to frontline workers – as well as computers and tablets for locked-down kids taking lessons online.
The couple’s charitable ventures kept them miles from the so-called lottery curse that has befallen so many others – with marriage scandals, financial feuds, violent robberies, botched cosmetic surgery and tragedy seen in many.
Jane Park took home £1million from EuroMillions aged just 17 in 2013.
The teenager, who was living in a two-bedroom Edinburgh council flat and earning £8-an-hour as an admin temp quickly splurged the funds – dubbing the win a nightmare.
Meanwhile Adrian and Gillian Bayford also had a notably turbulent time after winning £148million on the EuroMillions in 2012 – before splitting up 15 months later.
In June 2016, Adrian went back to work after he claimed he was getting “bored” at his £6million country mansion.
He used part of the fortune to set up his own music business and open a shop featuring the world’s largest collection of Lady Gaga memorabilia.
After moving on with a new, younger girlfriend, Adrian suffered more heartbreak in February 2017 when she left him and his home was raided in a £100,000 burglary, all in the space of a few weeks.
And in June 2018, he was dumped by his latest girlfriend, Lisa Kemp.
Ian McCulloch said: “Gillian’s whole life is shredded with lies. Her life is a total mess – a fabrication.”
However, she was hauled into court in 2019 after being accused of attacking an ex lover, Gavin Innes, in 2017.
The trial was eventually scrapped when she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of threatening and abusive behaviour.
In another twist of bad fate, the couple’s son fell into a coma after a quad bike accident back in June.
The Sun on Sunday revealed Cameron, 13, was hit by a car driven by his sister Aimee, 15, while riding the machine.
Cameron was fighting for life – but he was taken out of the induced coma a week later and is now on the road to recovery.
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