The County You Live, Work And Play
Airdrie Grandfather Wins Irish Lotto
Charles McGurk with wife Margaret
An overjoyed Airdrie grandfather enjoyed the luck of the Irish to win £75,000.
Charles McGurk finally scooped the life-changing sum with a £1 bet on the Irish Lotto bonus balls after putting money on the same three numbers – 2, 10 and 24 – for the last three years.
But the 76-year-old very nearly missed out on the five-figure sum, and only a chance encounter with a member of staff at Airdrie bookies Betfred, led to him claiming his prize.
A Betfred spokesperson explained: “Charles took his wife Margaret to the hairdressers last Thursday morning and just happened to see the deputy manager of our Bank Street branch, Stephen Murphy, on his travels.
“We had actually been trying to trace Charles to let him know he’d won £75,000 and started to think we’d have to put out appeals for help in finding him. Stephen told Charles that he’d better get himself to the shop to claim his money and Charles had no idea he'd won. He couldn’t believe it when he found out. Once he claimed his win, he went for a pint in the pub and said that instead of getting the bus home as normal, he and his wife would be getting a taxi back! Charles has been a customer at our Bank Street branch every day since it opened three years ago and every day he says the same thing: ‘It’ll be my day today’.
“He’s a very popular person in the shop and everyone there is delighted for him.”
Former British Rail worker Charles tasted success on the Irish Lotto two years ago when he won £700 – but that pales in comparison to his latest monstrous win.
And the fighting fit dad-of-two and grandfather-of-four is wisely set to consult his better half on how best to spend his winnings.
Charles said: “My wife Margaret knows I go to the bookies and though some people give out some stick about betting, I’ve always said I don’t listen to them.
“I told Margaret that I had the special bet with these three bonus numbers and I knew it would come up one day. I’ve got an idea on how to spend the money, but I will have to speak to Margaret first. I love swimming, walking and keeping myself fit and this money will be even more of a boost to my life.”
Betfred boss Fred Done passed on his personal congratulations to Charles, saying: “I hope Charles thinks of a more imaginative way of spending his £75,000 than one pint and a taxi home! Good luck to the fella. It’s great to reward our regular customers. A tiny stake like £1 winning £75,000 is just what our bookies is all about.”