Irish couple's car breakdown led to purchase of €50k scratch card

Happy couple Stephen and Charlene with their big win
Happy couple Stephen and Charlene with their big win

A newly-engaged couple have told how their car breaking down led to a €50,000 scratch card win.

Stephen Mullen (24) from Navan, Co Meath and his fiancée Charlene Balfe revealed they plan to use their winnings to replace their old car and to help towards a deposit for a house.

The ecstatic couple, proud parents of a one-year-old son, purchased their winning €5 All Cash Platinum scratch card at Reilly’s Londis in Abbeylands, Navan.

Speaking at Lottery HQ in Dublin, they described how a stroke of misfortune led to their new fortune.

Stephen, who works in Arnotts in Dublin, said: "We’ve had a rotten run of luck recently so we couldn’t have timed this win any better.

"Our car broke down last week so we had to travel everywhere by bus with our one-year-old son. Whilst waiting on a bus to Dublin we took shelter in Reilly's Londis it was lashing rain.

"We had a cup of coffee and I decided to get a €5 scratch card while we were waiting. We don’t usually buy scratch cards so when I scratched off the winning numbers, I was still unsure as to what I had won."

He added: "It’s an incredible amount of money to win at such an important moment in our lives. The first thing we need to do is replace our old car so waiting on a bus will be a thing of the past."

He said they have been working hard to save for a deposit for a house and this win will go some way to "make that dream a reality".

"We also need to start planning for our wedding but we’ll take it one step at a time,” he grinned.

The owner of the winning shop, Ciaran Reilly, said there was great excitement locally as news spread of the young couple’s windfall. "We are only open two-and-a-half years and this is our biggest win to date. We are delighted and wish Stephen and Charlene well. We hope it’s the first of many big wins for us!"