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Irish Woman Who Won $145M Lottery Has Given Over Half: ‘I’m Addicted to Helping People’


National Lottery

A self-confessed charity addict won more than $145 million (£115) million in the lottery, allowing her to overdose on her admitted addiction.

Making news headlines around the UK and Ireland, Frances Connelly has already given away ($74 million) £60 million with her husband, “Patty” Patrick, who actually bought the winning lottery ticket.

“Helping people… it just gives you A buzz. I’m addicted to it now,” 55-year-old Connelly said in an interview.

Connelly has been helping people since childhood. She volunteered with St. John’s Ambulance as a child and set up an AIDS helpline while a student in Belfast. She runs several community groups that do a variety of work—from helping refugees to providing seniors with tablets so they can video call their families.

Winning the EuroMillions 2019 jackpot gave her all kinds of ideas on how to help people, and so she used money to immediately set up two professional charities.

MORE: Man Wins 200 Million on the Lottery and Donates Almost All of It to Save the Earth

“So when we first sat down with our cup of tea Patty said, ‘go on then, make your list,’” Connelly said. She said that most of the big money ideas have already been given out, and that she has received a “yearly charity budget” from her husband, who still works at his plastic company, though she’s already spent her way up to 2032’s allocation.

She wasn’t overwhelmed, but rather recalled all those conversations she had had throughout her life about what would you do if you won the lottery; the hierarchy of helping was well established.

“I think I’m at about 10-11 million now directly to charity, as well as the money in the two charities here and in Northern Ireland, but I don’t keep a tally, in fact I don’t keep a tally in case Patty finds it!”

RELATED: MacKenzie Scott Donates $436 Million to Habitat for Humanity, Continuing Her Giving Spree Since Divorce

In terms of personal treats, they did buy a new house—a six-bedroom home in Durham with seven acres of land.

“I’ve never actually had to come to terms with all that money because we’ve had it for such a short amount of time,” she says, adding that most of it has already been pieced out to her large family, given to charity, or placed in safe keeping somewhere.

“If I had any advice for a winner… I’d say money liberates you to be the person that you want to be.” she told the BBC, also reporting on her winnings. “If you’re stupid before you get it, you’re going to be stupid afterwards.”

(WATCH the video for this story below.)

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