CHAMPAGNE CORKS POP AS DERRY MUM STEPHANIE HARKIN COLLECTS £100,000 SCRATCHCARD CHEQUE
A DERRY mum has told how she struck it rich by winning £100,000 on a scratchcard bought just before Christmas.
As first revealed by Derry Daily almost two weeks ago, kind-hearted Stephanie Harkin, 28, bought the winning card while in her local Tesco to buy presents for a school charity project.
The mother-of-two admitted she “always dreamed of winning” but “never thought it would happen to me”.
Stephanie, from Drumahoe, added: “My two young sons had to bring a present to school the next day to place under the Christmas tree for St Vincent de Paul, so we all went along with my mum to Tesco on Lisnagelvin Road to buy the presents.
“While we were there, I bought myself a Diamond Riches Scratchcard which I scratched in the foyer as we were waiting for my mum to finish up her shopping.
“Once I saw the three diamonds, I knew that I had won a large amount as I’d played this card before, but I didn’t want to get too excited.
“I checked the amounts on the card and when my mum returned, I kept telling her quietly that I’d won a hundred grand. I kept my voice down as I didn’t want to make a scene but I was completely shaking all over and couldn’t even remember the pin number to unlock my phone and call my husband.”
When she finally got through to her husband Kieran, a 33-year-old mechanic who runs his own business, he didn’t believe her and told her to go to the checkout desk and ask the shop assistant to check the scratchcard.
Stephanie said: “The girl behind the counter looked at my card and got visibly excited before telling me that she couldn’t pay me over the counter as I’d won £100k.
“I had to calm myself down before I was fit to drive, then drove home to Kieran and we called the National Lottery straight away, who confirmed that we had won!”
Luckily for Stephanie, all of her Christmas shopping had already been sorted when she struck it lucky so she has had time to relax with her family and think about how to spend her new-found fortune.
The New Year will now bring a dream family trip to Disneyland Paris, as well as a sun holiday in Benidorm.
Stephanie added: “We had a truly lovely Christmas, made all the better with that warm fuzzy feeling that a hundred grand in the bank can give you.
“Now we can’t wait to get away on holiday – especially our trip to Disney for the first time, as I know the boys will absolutely love it.
“Apart from that, our feet will remain firmly on the ground,” she continued. “We are a very close family, my family is my life and we will continue to love our lives together as we always have.”
“It’s still hard to take it all in,” Stephanie said. “The most I’ve ever won before is £10 so this win really is a dream come true for me.
“You never think that it’ll happen to you but I’m proof to everyone out there that it can.”