Is this the luckiest man in the world?

A father-of-two who won a Punching Above Your Weight contest thanks to his stunning partner has hit the jackpot again after scooping a cool £1million on a Lottery scratchcard.  

Darren Donaghey, 33, was crowned champion after entering a local radio competition with his then girlfriend Kate Cathcart, 28, in March 2014.

The customer service advisor who admitted he was no looker compared to Kate, today said ‘I am probably the luckiest man in the world’, before gleefully uncorking a bottle of champagne to toast his win. 

Darren Donaghey, 33, was crowned 'Punching Above Your Weight' champion after entering a local radio competition with his then partner Kate Cathcart, 28, in March 2014

Darren Donaghey, 33, was crowned 'Punching Above Your Weight' champion after entering a local radio competition with his then partner Kate Cathcart, 28, in March 2014

Darren Donaghey, 33, was crowned ‘Punching Above Your Weight’ champion after entering a local radio competition with his then partner Kate Cathcart, 28, in March 2014

 The customer service advisor who admitted he was no looker compared to Kate, today said 'I am probably the luckiest man in the world', before gleefully uncorking a bottle of champagne to toast his win

 The customer service advisor who admitted he was no looker compared to Kate, today said 'I am probably the luckiest man in the world', before gleefully uncorking a bottle of champagne to toast his win

 The customer service advisor who admitted he was no looker compared to Kate, today said ‘I am probably the luckiest man in the world’, before gleefully uncorking a bottle of champagne to toast his win

Darren, who has been in a relationship with Kate for 12 years, has won £1m on a Monopoly Classic scratchcard after she sent him shopping in Newcastle to buy a pint of milk.

The father to two autistic children laughed as he said: ‘I am probably the luckiest man in the world.

‘It feels strange and obviously we’re happy but family doesn’t change and that’s the main thing.

‘It just means we can do the things that we probably weren’t able to do.

The Donagheys have a girl aged three and a boy of six, both of whom are ‘non-verbal’, they said.

The scratchcard win will transform the whole family as they will be able to move out of their two-bedroom house in the Walker area of Newcastle to a bigger property with a room each for their children.

Now Darren, who has been in a relationship with Kate for 12 years, has won £1m on a Monopoly Classic scratchcard after she sent shopping in Newcastle to buy a pint of milk

Now Darren, who has been in a relationship with Kate for 12 years, has won £1m on a Monopoly Classic scratchcard after she sent shopping in Newcastle to buy a pint of milk

Now Darren, who has been in a relationship with Kate for 12 years, has won £1m on a Monopoly Classic scratchcard after she sent shopping in Newcastle to buy a pint of milk

Darren, who has been in a relationship with Kate for 12 years, has won £1m on a Monopoly Classic scratchcard after she sent him shopping in Newcastle to buy a pint of milk

Darren, who has been in a relationship with Kate for 12 years, has won £1m on a Monopoly Classic scratchcard after she sent him shopping in Newcastle to buy a pint of milk

Darren, who has been in a relationship with Kate for 12 years, has won £1m on a Monopoly Classic scratchcard after she sent him shopping in Newcastle to buy a pint of milk

They also plan to have a sensory room in their new home with bubble lamps to be a quiet area for the children.

Kate said she initially did not believe her husband when he came storming into the house saying he had won £1 million – particularly as her brother had previously pranked her about winning the lottery.

But soon they were crying once the win was confirmed and they realised what a difference it will make.

Kate said she initially did not believe her husband when he came storming into the house saying he had won £1 million - particularly as her brother had previously pranked her about winning the lottery

Kate said she initially did not believe her husband when he came storming into the house saying he had won £1 million - particularly as her brother had previously pranked her about winning the lottery

Kate said she initially did not believe her husband when he came storming into the house saying he had won £1 million – particularly as her brother had previously pranked her about winning the lottery

Darren is considering giving up his job as a call centre supervisor to be able to spend more time with his family and help Kate, a stay-at-home-mother, with the children.

They also intend to support autism charities which have helped them with their children.

Darren said: ‘We are currently in a two bedroom house and desperately need more room for the children – now all of our dreams have come true with this win.

‘We can move to a new home, which is bigger and with more bedrooms and even create a sensory room for our daughter and son.’

Darren is considering giving up his job as a call centre supervisor to be able to spend more time with his family and help Kate, a stay-at-home-mother, with the children

Darren is considering giving up his job as a call centre supervisor to be able to spend more time with his family and help Kate, a stay-at-home-mother, with the children

Darren is considering giving up his job as a call centre supervisor to be able to spend more time with his family and help Kate, a stay-at-home-mother, with the children

Darren explained the moments leading up to his big win: ‘I don’t normally buy scratch cards, I’ve probably bought a handful in my lifetime and certainly not £5 ones.

‘I looked up when I was at the checkout and saw the Monopoly one and something just told me to buy it.

‘I bought it and didn’t think anything of it. I got back into to the car with my milk and scratch card and started scratching it.

Darren said: ‘We are in a two bedroom house and desperately need more room for the children – now all of our dreams have come true with this win. We can move to a new home, which is bigger and with more bedrooms and even create a sensory room for our daughter and son’

‘I was shocked, I let out a bit of scream, I couldn’t take it in. I ran into the house and said I’d won a million pounds – Kate thought I was winding her up.

‘We were checking it over and over again. It still doesn’t feel real now. We cried – it was emotional. 

‘When you win the lottery people think you’ll do this and you’ll do that but the first thing we thought about is what we can provide the children with what they need.

‘I don’t have to work so I can spend time with my wife and kids and give them the support they need which is an amazing feeling.

The couple, from Walker – a disadvantaged area in Newcastle – met when Kate moved into the same street as Darren.

Following years of stick about how he managed to impress stunning Kate, Darren entered them into the competition run by Metro Radio

Following years of stick about how he managed to impress stunning Kate, Darren entered them into the competition run by Metro Radio

Following years of stick about how he managed to impress stunning Kate, Darren entered them into the competition run by Metro Radio

Following years of stick about how he managed to impress stunning Kate, Darren entered them into the competition run by Metro Radio.

They picked up the ‘punching above your weight’ award live on the Metro Radio Steve and Karen Breakfast Show.

Darren and Kate got married later that year.

Full time mum Kate said, after winning the radio competition, that Darren was her ‘Prince Charming’.

She said: ‘Kate said: ‘When we first won the competition people had been flooding the emails at Metro Radio saying how strange it was for Darren to be with me.

‘And when the local press got hold of it even more comments came through saying how shocked they were that I was with Darren and how ugly Darren was.

‘But for every horrible comment there was at least three lovely comments saying what a lovely family we were.

‘People say love is blind and I guess I must be a prime example to that, but to me, Darren really is my Prince Charming.’

The Monopoly Classic scratchcard, which offers a 1 in 3.71 overall chance of winning a prize, costs £5 to buy. Prizes range from £5 up to the top prize of £1,000,000.

Full time mother Kate added: ‘I think we are all lucky with the family we have and the love we have.’

 

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