Northern Ireland

Belfast woman Mary Hamilton wins more than £12.9m in lottery

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Media captionSpeaking to BBC News NI's Andy West, Mary Hamilton said her legs went weak when she found out she had won

A 65-year-old furniture store worker from Belfast has won almost £13m in the Euromillions jackpot.

Mary Hamilton, who celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary in July, said she found out she had won the jackpot after her local petrol station said they could not pay out.

"They said they're only allowed to pay out so much," she said.

"I remembered that one week I won £36 and they were able to pay me that so I knew it was bit more than that."

She added: "There was a man behind me and he had got it up on his phone. They were checking the numbers, then he said to me 'you're the UK winner'.

"My legs were so weak that I couldn't walk. Sandy [her husband] came to the store, we hugged and then he drove us home.

"I had the ticket a week and I didn't know. It was in my bag."

Mrs Hamilton said she had been playing the lottery since it started 20 years ago and while she thought there was a chance of winning a few thousand pounds she never dreamed of winning anywhere near £12.9m.

She said she wanted to do something for the community in Northern Ireland.

"There are a lot of young people out there whose youth centres are being closed down because of the cutbacks. I know this will put a lot of them back out on to the streets.

"I would prefer they were in youth centres rather than standing about street corners so I might look into something like that."

The National Lottery is 20 years old this week and has made 81 people millionaires in Northern Ireland since the first draw.

The most recent big winner to go public was Tyrone woman Margaret Loughrey who won £27m.

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