The family of Britain’s youngest ever National Lottery winner has asked for donations to a suicide charity following his sudden death at the age of 23 – seven years after he scooped the £390,000 prize at 16.
Callum Fitzpatrick, of Ballymartin, County Down, had been working at his parents’ grocery store and studying for his A-levels when he won the prize in October 2014 – learning of his jackpot while babysitting at his aunt’s home.
The ‘wonderful, intelligent young man’ still completed a degree in civil engineering at Ulster University despite his win, which came after he matched the winning numbers of 1, 22, 30, 40, 47 and the bonus ball 42.
Mr Fitzpatrick – who is survived by his father Colin, 45, mother Sheila, 46, and three younger sisters Tierna, Corragh and Meagh – had vowed to buy a new car with his money when he turned 17.
The sports fan, who played for local Gaelic team Ballymartin GAC, was a Manchester United supporter and had said following his win that also wanted to spend some of the cash on visiting their stadium Old Trafford.
He had worked in recent years at The Harbour Inn bar at Annalong, where bosses said he was a ‘long standing and valued member of our team, full of craic and who would do anything for anybody’, and would be ‘sorely missed’.
Following Mr Fitzpatrick’s death last Tuesday, his family have asked for donations to the Public Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide and Self-harm (PIPS), based in Belfast – but his cause of death has not yet been revealed.
National Lottery winner Callum Fitzpatrick in October 2014 aged 16 with his parents Sheila and Colin after he won £390,000
Civil engineering graduate Callum Fitzpatrick, pictured left with his friend Alannah Ní Chorráin, has died suddenly aged 23
Mr Fitzpatrick had been working at his parent’s grocery store when he won the prize in 2014
Mr Fitzpatrick’s funeral was held last Friday at St Colman’s Church, Massforth in Kilkeel – with mourners hearing that his death was ‘completely devastating’.
His sister Tierna Fitzpatrick wrote on Facebook: ‘My best friend/brother I could of ever asked for. You’ll never know how much we all loved you.’
Callum Fitzpatrick, of Ballymartin, County Down, has died
And friend Matthew McAstocker, said: ‘Still can’t believe I’m writing this mate. If only you knew how many people loved you. I’ll never forget the memories we shared.’
Aaron Smith added: ‘I still can’t believe Callum is gone from our lives. Callum was a good friend, pleasure to work alongside in the Harbour Inn. Callum would be missed by all, rest easy mate.’
Michaela Rodgers wrote: ‘We said goodbye to a such a lovely friend, you have left so many memories that we will cherish forever. You will never be forgotten, you will be remembered by how such an amazing person you were.’
Bosses at The Harbour Inn, his workplace in Annalong, said in a Facebook post: ‘Trevor, Jodie, Denis and Grace offer their sincere condolences to the entire Fitzpatrick family on the devastating loss of their son, Callum.
‘A long standing and valued member of our team, full of craic and who would do anything for anybody, Callum will be sorely missed by all of us at The Harbour Inn.’
A Ballymartin GAC spokesman said: ‘The entire community of Ballymartin and surrounding area of Mourne is heartbroken.
‘We offer our sincere condolences to his father Colin, mother Sheila, sisters Tierna, Corragh and Meagh and wider family circle, a lot of whom are deeply rooted in our club at all levels.
‘As a mark of respect there will be no onfield activity at the club grounds until further notice. Callum will be sorely missed by everyone involved with Ballymartin GAC.
‘A wonderful, intelligent young man, a great friend and teammate, tragically has left this life too soon. May he rest in peace.’
In 2014, Mr Fitzpatrick had been babysitting at his aunt’s house in Bryansford when he realised he had the winning lottery numbers.
He was studying for his A-levels at St Malachy’s High School in Castlewellan at the time, and insisted he would still attend university despite the win.
Speaking after his win in 2014, he told the Daily Mirror: ‘I was shocked and I feel very lucky. I’ve not really been able to sleep since. I think I want to buy a car in January when I turn 17. I just want a normal car.’
He added that his family insisted he should still work in their shop, saying: ‘My mum has said I have to keep going and helping out, but that’s OK – I want to stay normal.’
Mr Fitzpatrick had worked in recent years at The Harbour Inn bar at Annalong (file picture)
The Manchester Unite fan played for local Gaelic team Ballymartin GAC, who paid tribute
He added: ‘I really couldn’t believe it as the first five numbers that were drawn out were all mine. When I finally realised it was true, I burst into tears.’
Mr Fitzpatrick then phoned his father Colin, who told the Mirror at the time: ‘I realised from the sound of his voice and how he was talking it was actually true.’
He wasn’t the first teenager in Northern Ireland to win a big lottery prize, with Tracey Makin from Belfast having just turned 16 when she won £1,055,171 in January 1998.
Ten years later it was reported that she had invested most of her winnings and now had an office job and a modest car, crediting her her parents for ensuring she remains sensible.
For confidential support in the UK call the Samaritans on 116123, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here for details
Two Brit teens who won big on the lottery then blew it
Callie Rogers is pictured after her £1.87million lottery win in 2013
Callie Rogers was just 16 when she won a £1.87million lottery jackpot while working as a shop assistant on £3.60 an hour in 2003.
But the mother-of-four from Flimby in Cumbria has suffered a spectacular fall from grace since and is now on benefits after blowing the whole amount.
Miss Rogers spent thousands on wild parties, three breast enhancements and designer clothing, while also giving away large amounts to her family and friends.
But she was also targeted by people who took cash off her, suffered a string of failed relationships and was attacked by two women on a night out.
Then in March it emerged Miss Rogers had been pepper-sprayed by police following a car crash when her 4×4 veered off the road late at night.
She then failed a drugs test and was given a 22-month driving ban following the incident near her boyfriend Jason Fearon’s home in Crosby, Merseyside.
Callie Rogers, pictured in recent years, has suffered a fall from grace since her win and is now on benefits after blowing her winnings
Jane Park was 17 when she won big on the Euromillions in 2013
Jane Park was just 17 when she won £1million after getting lucky with her first-ever Euromillions ticket in 2013.
She has repeatedly stated winning the Euromillions prize ruined her life and even threatened to sue lottery operators Camelot for negligence, claiming someone her age shouldn’t have been allowed to win.
She has confessed that it was only the advice of family members which stopped her going bust after she went on a spending spree.
The jackpot winner paid for a breast enlargement, Brazilian bottom lift and splashed out on a string of luxury holidays and fashion accessories.
In 2019, she revealed she was making money by selling racy topless pictures of herself on subscription site OnlyFans.
In January she said she had moved to Dubai for ‘business’ reasons and this would be a permanent move.
Jane Park pictured in more recent years. In 2019, she revealed she was making money by selling racy topless pictures on OnlyFans