Family scoop €72m EuroMillions jackpot after ‘lucky’ call

A family who scooped a €72.7m jackpot in EuroMillions only bought the ticket after their mother rang from her holiday in Florida to say she was feeling lucky.
Family scoop €72m EuroMillions jackpot after ‘lucky’ call

The five-strong syndicate made up of Stephanie Davies, 23, her boyfriend Steve Powell, 30, her sister Courtney, 19, their mum Sonia, 53, and Sonia’s partner, Keith Reynolds, 55, from Monmouth, hit the jackpot on Friday, July 29.

And Stephanie only purchased the six Lucky Dip tickets after receiving a call from her mother late on Friday evening.

Sonia pleaded with her daughter to buy the tickets as she was feeling lucky.

“I thought mum was mad calling me from holiday but they were so insistent I knew we had to do it,” she said today as they celebrated their win.

Sonia was celebrating successful keyhole surgery in the US to remove a tumour on her parathyroid gland.

Stephanie bought the tickets from the Overmonow Garage in Monmouth and was stunned when she checked the numbers in the early hours of Sunday.

Describing her dash to get the tickets, Stephanie said: “My car was blocked in the drive by my boyfriend Steve’s, so to save time I made him drive me to buy a ticket instead of moving mine.”

Her mother, an admin assistant, and Mr Reynolds, a regional director, were in Florida to see his daughter graduate and for the surgery.

Earlier this year, Sonia was diagnosed with the tumour and found a world-leading treatment centre near where they were on holiday so she could have keyhole surgery there.

“I had my operation on Wednesday and until then, we didn’t know how serious it was,” she said.

“They told me that if it hadn’t been removed it would have been fatal — at the very least I would have lost my voice within a year.

“They managed to give me the all-clear straight after the operation, so as you would imagine, we were on cloud nine.”

Sonia said: “I had my surgery on the Wednesday and I suppose the Friday was the first day I felt ‘I am cured’, I felt good, it didn’t hurt any more.

“Keith was scanning his emails and read about the EuroMillions rollover.

“He was convinced that we were the luckiest people on the planet and definitely on a winning streak after the success of my op so we called up my daughter, Courtney, to ask her to go and buy a ticket.

“She was travelling and wasn’t about to change her plans so we called Stephanie instead as something told us we needed to get a ticket.”

Stephanie and Steve did not check the lottery numbers until the early hours of Sunday morning, after spending the evening with friends.

Steve said: “We were laughing and joking about the lottery. Steph remembered she had bought a ticket. She said ‘if I shout down it means we’ve won the lottery and if not, I’ve gone to bed. “She came down crying.”

Stephanie had checked the numbers on her iPad and realised they had all of them — with one UK ticket holder scooping the massive prize.

She said: “As soon as I saw that ticket I had my hands over my eyes, I was shaking, I was crying. I said to Steve ‘for once in my life I am not even joking’. We checked the ticket about 10 times over.”

Describing their reaction after they realised they had scooped the jackpot, Stephanie said: “We locked all our windows and doors and spoke in hushed voices just in case someone could hear that we had won.”

She phoned her mother, who was waiting to board her delayed flight home.

The winners are still considering what to do with their £12,220,488.58 shares of the jackpot.

Stephanie and Steve bought their first home together at Christmas so will decorate, finishing their bathroom and potentially take a trip to the Caribbean.

Courtney has just finished the first year of a psychology degree at the University of Southampton.

She plans to complete her degree before deciding what to do next but is already planning on buying an electric toothbrush and a new car to replace her VW Fox, which has no air con and wind-up windows.

Her boyfriend Kieran, a student at Reading University, is hoping she will get the leak in his car fixed.

Sonia and Keith, who live near Ross-on-Wye, will share their win with family and friends — though she would like a new oak carport for her property.

“Winning is just like living the dream,” she added.

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox