KBRT founders Colin and Eithne Bell celebrate 1m EuroMillions win

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

KBRT founders Colin and Eithne Bell celebrate 1m EuroMillions win thumbnailColin and Eithne Bell

COLIN and Eithne Bell have said their son Kevin was taking care of them from above after the husband and wife scooped 1million in the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker.

Anyone lucky enough to win the lottery would plan a party but their work with the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT) took priority as Colin spent the weekend collecting cheques across Ireland - a trait that shows just how deserving the couple are.

The Newry people, and indeed the whole country, will agree that no one deserves this win more because of Colin and Eithne's inspiring work with the Trust.

Since losing their son Kevin in 2013 after a hit and run collision in New York, the KBRT, which was set up in his memory, has brought 330 loved ones back to Ireland from all over the world.

The biggest benefactors of the win will be the couple's six children, Ciara (32), along with her husband Paul and their son Daniel, Sean (32), Brendan (31), Eamon (29), Conor (28) and Maeve (26), while Colin, a huge Down fan, said he'll splash out on two 10-year Premium Level tickets for Croke Park and a new car and sun room for Eithne.

Colin, a retired St Clare's Abbey Primary School teacher, picked up the winning ticket from the Bureau De Change in The Buttercrane by pure luck.

The Newry Mitchel's clubman had originally bought a ticket for the Thunderball draw on Tuesday, June 20, and won 5, using his winnings Colin made the best reinvestment of his life and took a chance on a lucky dip in the EuroMillions.

"I was sitting last Wednesday evening about half past six just watching the news and I went to get something out of my wallet and I seen my lottery ticket so I said I'll check it," explained Colin.

"I googled the numbers and the numbers were no good so I looked at the UK millionaire code and looked at my ticket and I said 'that looks a wee bit familiar' and I said to Eithne 'I think we've won a million pounds'.

"So I gave her the ticket and she called out the numbers and I had the National Lottery app on my phone and I said if this starts singing we could be in business. Of course, it started to sing and it said congratulations you've won 1million, so that's how we found out.

"After that we sat down and watched the rest of the news," joked the 64-year-old.

The stunned pair then drove to Ciara's house, where she grabbed the ticket to make sure her mum and dad hadn't made a mistake and after making a call to Camelot the win was confirmed.

Over the next week the only people who knew about the win was Colin, Eithne and their immediate family, even Eithne's mother, granny Annie, was kept in the dark during her birthday!

"Normally you think when you win the Lotto you would be running and jumping all over the place but we really were so stunned," said 61-year-old Eithne.

"My mummy was 86 last Sunday and we all celebrated but it was very hard celebrating her birthday because we had kept the secret in our immediate family.

"We let mummy and the rest of them into the secret on Wednesday and she actually said today 'it was good fun keeping a secret like that!'"

On the night of the win, Colin and Eithne told Ciara, Brendan and Eamon, who lives in Perth, but waited until the next morning to tell Conor and Sean, who both live in Dublin.

It was their youngest daughter Maeve who was the last to find out as she was travelling home from Australia after spending two years there.

"We met her with our grandson Daniel at the airport and waited until we got her into the car," explained Colin.

"We were driving out of the airport and I said, 'oh by the way, we won 1million in the lottery' and she says 'stop I have to got to the toilet!'"

While Eithne added: "They were in total and utter disbelief. Just to keep it amongst ourselves for a week was so hard.

"It's brilliant to tell everyone because it's a great release to let everyone know."

Asked if he was going to keep playing the Lottery in the future, Colin said: "I've been doing it every week since it started! It's been a long time coming and I checked my Lotto last night and I won nothing!

"I knew I was going to win it for years," he joked. "Keep at it and you never know."

A truly inspiring story for such a deserving family, congratulations Colin and Eithne!


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete