A couple from Northern Ireland have won the ultimate New Year's Day lottery, a prize of more than $217 million - but they won't upgrade their daughter's flight home from New Zealand.

Frances and Patrick Connolly, who live in Moira, Northern Ireland, became the fourth biggest UK EuroMillions winners when they matched their winning numbers to scoop the £115m (NZ$217m) draw.

The parents of three daughters have written a list of 50 family and friends to share their money with - most of whom are still unaware of their jackpot prize.

But one of the couple's twin daughters, who is doing her Masters degree in New Zealand, won't be flying first class on her return trip back home.

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The Connollys said instead of first-class flights, their 24-year-old daughter could have her hostel upgraded to a hotel near the airport.

Patrick and Frances Connolly have been revealed as the new winners of the EuroMillions. Photo / Sky News
Patrick and Frances Connolly have been revealed as the new winners of the EuroMillions. Photo / Sky News

Speaking to media, the couple said they don't plan to keep the money.

"This is a massive sum of money and we want it to have a huge impact on the lives of other people we know and love as well as on our future, too," Frances Connolly said.

"This win gives us the chance to really make a difference for our family and friends.

"The only thing I ever won was a guess the number of sweets in the jar".

The couple said they sat in silence after they had realised they won, struggling to take it in.

One of the couple's twins is in New Zealand doing a Masters degree. She will be travelling home and, during her stopover, has upgraded from a hostel to a hotel, her mother said. Photo / Social Media
One of the couple's twins is in New Zealand doing a Masters degree. She will be travelling home and, during her stopover, has upgraded from a hostel to a hotel, her mother said. Photo / Social Media

Patrick Connolly said: "We really didn't know what to do or how to react and we didn't sleep a wink that night. We rang Camelot at 8am in the morning to verify the win.

"Then it started to dawn on us that it was true even though it still hasn't really sunk in."

When asked what they planned to spend the rest of the money on, Patrick Connelly said: "For the minute I'm retired, I need to digest this, but it won't last long, I need to be doing something."

Frances Connolly, who worked for an online magazine for the voluntary sector, said: "I've wanted to do my PhD in clinical psychology and I can afford to do it now."

She said their ticket was a lucky dip and insisted the win would not change them as people.

Deciding how far to spread their good fortune could prove tough.

"I'm going to cry myself to sleep that I can't help everybody. That will be really tough," she explained.

The biggest lottery prize in UK history is the £161m EuroMillions jackpot won by North Ayrshire couple Chris and Colin Weir in 2011.