Londonderry Euromillions lottery winner Anne Canavan was among 95 millionaires created in Northern Ireland since the very first Lotto draw on Saturday, November 19, 1994, with the National Lottery claiming we are currently enjoying a lucky streak.
Anne was the biggest North West lotto winner to go public over the past year-and-a-half, when she bagged £1,000,000 with a Euromillions scratchcard in September 2015.
But Shane and Lauren Woods from Strabane (£100,000 in December 2014), Sharin McCourt from Londonderry (£250,000 in August 2015) and Stephanie Harkin from Londonderry (£250,000 in December 2015) didn’t fare too badly either.
A total of 48 new millionaires have struck Lottery gold in Northern Ireland in the period from January 1, 2011 until March 31, 2016 - which equates on average to one new millionaire every 39.9 days.
The statistics, which include winners who have gone public and those who haven’t, show that since the National Lottery began in 1994, there has been an average of 4.4 millionaires per year from Northern Ireland.
When this is narrowed down to the last 10 years, that figure rises to 6.2 per year, and then further again to 8.8 millionaires per year over the past five years.
Andy Carter, Senior Winners’ Advisor for The National Lottery, the man who pays out the big winners, said: “There’s definitely something in the Northern Ireland water in recent years which is making it one of the luckiest postcode areas in the UK.
“It took more than 15 years to create our first 47 millionaires here but just over five years to create the next 48! It’s incredible to think that over 50 per cent of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery millionaires have been created since January 2011.
“We can’t put it down to anything other than lady luck so we would advise players in Northern Ireland to make the most of this luck on your doorstep while it lasts.
“With the total number of millionaires in Northern Ireland now sitting at 95, surely the 100th can’t be too far away, which really will be quite a milestone for the region.”
A wide variety of local projects received National Lottery grants last year, including £199,400 to the Nerve Centre for their Creative Centenaries exhibition, events and outreach programme from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
A further £8,096 went to Foyle Down Syndrome Trust to provide football sessions for young people with Down Syndrome from Sport NI.
“There are now a massive 4,250 National Lottery millionaires across the UK and with more than 6 new millionaires made every week, hopefully there is likely to be another Northern Ireland winner made soon,” said Mr Carter.