A LOTTO winner has told how he was very lucky to be alive after being hit “full force” by a double-decker bus last week.
Peter Lavery, who won a £10.2 million jackpot in 1996, was crossing the street in Donegall Square West in Belfast city center when the accident occurred at 9am last Monday.
The former bus driver was taken to hospital along with another person – the area was cordoned off for a technical examination.
And speaking at his home in Down, the multi-millionaire said he had suffered a head injury but was recovering well.
Peter, who was traveling to the Europa Hotel for a business meeting, told the Sunday world: “I know I’ve been very lucky, but it’s not the first time I’ve been lucky.
“I’m OK. I lost some blood in the accident and was obviously shocked, but other than a little soreness I’m doing better. I know I’m very lucky.
“I have 16 stitches on the back of my head and will have them removed on Monday. I hope I can get back to work once this is done.”
Peter also recalled the terrifying moment he was hit by the bus, saying he was almost across the street.
He added: “The bus hit me with full force. I was three quarters of the way across the street and when I saw him coming I just knew he was hitting me, I just knew.”
Peter’s lottery ticket won him £10.2 million (€11.8 million) when he was just 34 years old.
After spending time in St. Lucia in the Caribbean before returning home, Peter set out on a mission to give back.
He brought 20 children and their riot-affected parents to Disney World Florida.
He founded the Rita Charles Trust in memory of his parents, who died when he was in his mid-40s.
Peter recently appeared on a BBC program documenting his efforts to reintroduce whiskey distilling to Belfast.
He spoke about the “reality” of his victory and how his new lifestyle almost killed him.
A cocktail of drinking and partying took a toll on his health.
He said: “I had to stop drinking on the orders of the doctors, otherwise I wouldn’t be here today.”
Peter said that he was the lucky one among 33 million players.
He said: “The night I won my fortune, 33 million people played the lottery and I got the right six numbers, which is incredible.”
“It certainly changed my life and a lot of other people’s lives too.”