A delivery driver who scored a life-changing £3.8 million on the lotto found himself “standing in the rain serving baskets of groceries” the next working day.
Jonny Johnston from Co Fermanagh, who has never been further than Scotland, said he had put his new fortune ‘in the back of my mind and just worked’.
The cheerful Tesco worker said the winnings – the equivalent of £4.3million – had “made no difference” to his service, adding: “I’m still going to play the lottery, sure, why not?” and revealed that he was going to get a passport.
Long-term partner Christina Williams said life was continuing as normal for her too, adding: “It’s not going to change us.”
But if she could have changed anything in the recent past, she says she would have spent a lot of money on tickets to see Taylor Swift with her daughter.
Christina said: “I looked at them in June and they cost €800 so that wasn’t possible.
“That’s the only thing I would have done differently.”
The couple, who have two sons aged 23 and 19, and a daughter aged 20, have yet to make plans for their first trip abroad.
Jonny, 45, said the furthest he had ventured so far was trips to Portrush, Galway, Bray and the odd visit to Scotland.
While sipping a glass of champagne, the multimillionaire said he is now applying for his first passport as the couple plan a luxury cruise.
Jonny said: “I would like us all to go to the Caribbean, maybe on a cruise as it sounds and looks incredible. We’ve never had a family vacation together.”
Also on the wish list are a vintage car and a tractor for one of their children.
The win also allowed the family to put a few more presents under the Christmas tree, including designer handbags and a pair of £450 leather boots.
As for plans for their daily lives in Co Fermanagh, they have no plans to move.
Christina, who works at an accountancy firm, told the Irish Sun: “We never move. No. We stay in the same house.
“We love our home. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, so maybe a little tidying up, a little bit here and there, but that’s it.”
Christina, 46, said she too returned to work after collecting the huge sum on December 16, the week before Christmas.
She said: “There is still work to be done as January is a busy time for us and anything we get done before January is a bonus.
“Jobs have to be finished before I’m done. I had to tell my manager to get time off because you’re not allowed to take time off in December.”
BACK TO WORK
And although the couple initially kept their win a secret, she explained: “I had to give up the reason why I had taken some time off because it had to be a very serious reason.
“I know I don’t have to do this right now, but I’m keeping my feet on the ground. I like to work. You must have a goal.
“As long as I’m still wanted there, that’s the most important thing.”
She said December 16 was the day that “changed our lives,” but she wouldn’t say it was the best day of her life.
Christina said: “We have had three children. Those days were great, to be honest, the best days.”
Jonny said: “The whole thing is still surreal. We still find it hard to believe that this could actually happen.
“I still think we’ll wake up one morning and realize it was a dream.”
Christina said they decided to make their huge win public to “give people hope.”
She explained: “There are so many bad things happening in the world, it’s nice to put a little hope there.
“And it’s nice to see it coming to Fermanagh.”
PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE
The couple, who enjoyed a stay at the five-star Culloden Hotel in Co Down before speaking to reporters, say they are aware that there could be begging letters in the future and scammers looking for money.
But they are taking advice from lotto operators Camelot, who have told them they are always a phone call away.
Christina said: “We are prepared for whatever may happen.”
Jonny was on a night out with colleagues on Saturday December 16 when he received an email from the National Lottery saying there was “good news about his ticket”.
He went to bed thinking he had won a lucky dip, before waking up the next morning and checking the details.
He said: ‘I sat on the edge of the bed on Sunday morning trying to understand what I was seeing.
“I kept staring at the numbers on my account.
“I thought I might have won £38,000 but then there were too many zeros.”
He passed his phone to Christina, his partner of 25 years, and the couple then called Camelot.
The couple had matched all six numbers on Saturday on a Lucky Dip that Jonny had won the week before.
He said: “The children were quiet at first and looked at us both in disbelief.
“And then the shouting and screaming started and everyone was jumping around the kitchen cheering.
“Since it was still early, we put the kettle on and toasted the great news with a cup of coffee.”
Jonny said he normally delivers groceries to homes in Co Fermanagh and parts of South Tyrone.
But after telling his manager about his good fortune, he was offered a shift close to base.
As the rain poured down, he spent his shifts loading baskets onto trucks heading for deliveries.
And he handed out baskets to shoppers who came to pick up items.
He said: “We kept it quiet but that’s over now.
“My phone hasn’t stopped vibrating.
“I’m still in disbelief. This is a dream come true for me and my family.
“I have always worked hard and this victory will allow us to do things we could only dream of before. I’m incredibly grateful and still trying to wrap my head around it.
He played the British National Lottery on the app and the winning numbers on Saturday December 16 were 4, 12, 23, 30, 50 and 56.
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