Republic of Ireland star Kevin O'Connor is now a millionaire after a ticket gifted to him by his uncle for Christmas scooped the jackpot.

The Preston North End ace, 22, travelled to Dublin today with family to collect his winnings just a day after sitting on the subs bench for his side's New Year's Day defeat to Middlesbrough.

It had been given to him by his uncle, Peadar Murphy, who lives in the village of Castlebridge, near Flanagan's Centra Supermarket where he bought the winning ticket back on December 14th.

Peadar posted the ticket to Kevin with the Christmas message saying 'I wish you the best of luck', and was one of the first in contact with his godchild to congratulate him.

The new millionaire visited Flanagan's Supermarket on Tuesday morning where he was greeted by supermarket proprietor, Louis Flanagan and members of staff, along with early morning customers, which brought a huge amount of New Year excitement to the rural village near Wexford.

Supermarket owner, Louis Flanagan said: "Once the ticket was validated I asked Kevin for a hold of it so I could become a millionaire for a few short seconds.

"I was delighted for Kevin and his parents, Brian and Breda.

"One could not meet a nicer person or family. When he came into the supermarket along with his girlfriend, it was the very same Kevin of old. He has not changed one bit. He is as nice a person as one could meet.

'Kevin got to where he is today the hard way. He played with Waterford before joining Cork City.

After O'Connor has collected his winnings he will be returning to Deepdale to get ready for Preston's 3rd Round FA Cup tie against League Two Wycombe Wanderers this weekend.

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