‘Wrong’ ticket brings £1m windfall

A HARTLEPOOL woman is celebrating after scooping a £1m EuroMillion jackpot after a lucky misunderstanding at the shop counter.

Claire McManus and partner Scott Connah, both 30, paid for the ticket after asking a close family friend to buy a scratchcard while he was at the shop.

But the friend misunderstood and ended up buying the winning EuroMillions raffle ticket for the couple by mistake.

The couple, who have three young children, won the money on the EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle draw, which created 25 new millionaires on New Year’s Day. It was one of the £1m raffle codes which brought them the luck and the cash prize.

Claire, a full-time mum, said: “The news is still sinking in.

“When we had the ticket confirmed as a winning raffle number the lady from Camelot said to me, ‘congratulations, you’re a millionairess’ and I just sat on the floor, laughed and cried.

“I haven’t slept since we won.”

The couple have played on scratchcards regularly for many years, but have only played EuroMillions a handful of times.

Claire, who is originally from the West View area of Hartlepool but now lives in Connah’s Quay in Wales, added: “This is the best misunderstanding I’ve ever had.

“We normally play scratchcards but I think we will add EuroMillions to our regular list from now on.”

The couple realised they had won after Claire had gone to bed on New Year’s Day, and was called back down by Scott who suggested they check the ticket to see if they had won any money.

Claire said: “I checked it, and checked it again, and then asked Scott to check it, and then we got my parents to check it.

“We just couldn’t believe it was real.

“The funny thing is, we took our Christmas decorations down that day which a friend told me was bad luck, but I think I’ll do it again next year.”

The couple have yet to decide what they’re going to spend the money on but would like to buy their first house in the Connah’s Quay area and plan to enjoy a luxury family holiday.

Claire added: “Our dream for a long time has been to be able to buy our own home so that’s one thing we’re definitely going to do.

“We’ve already found one we like.

“We’ll also be making sure our close family and friends are well looked after.”

The winning raffle code was HZG990861 and the ticket was bought from G&R News, in High Street in Connah’s Quay.