a mil­lion rea­sons to smile

Cou­ple’s £1MIL­LION scatch­card suc­cess

The Chronicle - - Front Page - By KATIE DICK­IN­SON Re­porter katie.dick­in­son@reach­plc.com

LOTTO mil­lion­aires Dar­ren and Kate Don­aghey can fi­nally give their two autis­tic chil­dren the life they have al­ways dreamed of af­ter a £1m Na­tional Lot­tery Scratch­card win.

Dar­ren bought the Mo­nop­oly Clas­sic scratch­card af­ter it “caught his eye” while he was out buy­ing a pint of milk.

Now, he and Kate said “all their dreams have come true”.

Dar­ren and Kate hit the head­lines four years ago af­ter he won a ‘Punch­ing Above Your Weight’ com­pe­ti­tion for be­ing in a re­la­tion­ship with Kate.

He fa­mously won Metro Ra­dio’s con­tro­ver­sial com­pe­ti­tion when lis­ten­ers voted him and Kate the most mis-matched cou­ple in the looks de­part­ment.

And now, he has be­come a mil­lion­aire af­ter it emerged that he and Kate - who have two autis­tic chil­dren - have won the scratch­card jack­pot.

They will use the cash to move from their two-bed­room house to a big­ger home with a sen­sory room for their three-year-old daugh­ter and six-year-old son.

““Win­ning the lot­tery is some­thing which only hap­pens to other peo­ple,” said Dar­ren, 33. “We still can­not be­lieve this has hap­pened to or­di­nary peo­ple like Kate and my­self.

“This money will just to­tally change our lives and the lives of our chil­dren too.”

Call cen­tre worker Dar­ren had resched­uled his shifts to spend more time with his chil­dren and as he ad­justed to his new work pat­tern found him­self up ear­lier than usual.

He said: “I had left for work and then de­cided I was far too early so thought I would pop back home to spend more time with Kate and the chil­dren.

“When I got home Kate asked if I would mind pop­ping out to buy a pint of milk as we had run out.

“When I was in the shop I had some spare change in my pocket and for some rea­son the Mo­nop­oly Clas­sic scratch­card just caught my eye. I thought, ‘I have got change, I will buy one.’

“I went out to my car and de­cided to scratch it straight away. I couldn’t ac­tu­ally be­lieve it when I was look­ing at a scratch­card which was worth £1m and I lit­er­ally had £1m in my hand.

“I just screamed but I also felt numb. I just couldn’t com­pre­hend what was hap­pen­ing.

“I rushed home and Kate just thought I was jok­ing. I don’t think ei­ther of us ac­tu­ally be­lieved what was hap­pen­ing to us un­til we called Camelot and they con­firmed that we re­ally were now mil­lion­aires.”

Dar­ren and Kate, 28, said they are also plan­ning to sup­port autism char­i­ties, which have helped their fam­ily.

Dar­ren and Kate’s Mo­nop­oly Clas­sic scratch­card from The Na­tional Lot­tery was bought at the Walker Su­per­store in New­cas­tle.

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