Christmas came early for Gerry and Marie Bingham along with their three children and five grandchildren after they scooped nearly €3.6m in the recent Lotto jackpot.
Gerry, from Bay Estate Dundalk, didn’t even know he was a millionaire as he went about his work as a meals-on-wheels volunteer on Monday evening.
“I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it,” said lucky Gerry. “We didn’t check our numbers over the weekend and on Monday I went out and did my meals-on-wheels route without knowing I had won.
“It was only that night when I checked the numbers on the teletext and rang my kids that it was confirmed.”
The happy couple celebrated with a couple of drinks and then went to bed. The following morning they woke up thinking it was all a dream.
“I rang the National Lottery office on Tuesday morning and I said I need to speak to somebody quick because I have numbers here and I think we won the Lotto’.”
The 65-year-old bought a €4 quick-pick ticket in Carroll newsagents and book shop in the Longwalk Shopping Centre.
Gerry also learned he had won €3 from another line on the lucky ticket.
Gerry and his wife Marie (64) plan to share the €3,595,140 jackpot with their three children Alan (38), Gerard (31) and Niamh (35) and their five grandchildren Laura (15) Sam (8) Emily (6) Alan (4) and Nathan (2).
“The first time I did the Lotto me and a friend from work won £700 between us, so I’ve always tried to win again, but this is something else,” said Gerry.
The Bingham family celebrated by taking all five grandchildren to a toy store.
“We promised them that they could have whatever they wanted. We really enjoyed seeing them so happy.”
Gerry said that he will donate to two charities.
“My sister Marion (Crossan) died at the age of 58 in July after fighting cancer for 13 years. We ran a charity night two weeks ago and we raised over €4,000 which we donated to the Dóchas centre and the Northland Hospice in Drogheda as they were so good to her.”
As a hobby Gerry races pigeons and buys pigeon racing magazines in Carroll Newsagents.
Sinead McCresh from the shop expressed her delight for the Bingham family.
“We are all delighted for Gerry and his family. He is a regular customer in the shop, we keep all the magazines for him.
“There has been a great buzz around the shop since we sold the ticket.”