Monday 27 February 2017

Captain of Limerick hurling team sells winning €4m lotto ticket

David Raleigh

The captain of the Limerick senior hurling team scored last night by selling the national lottery jackpot worth almost €4m at his shop in Ballingarry.

Donal O'Grady, manager of O'Grady's Spar and Topaz, was in shock when lotto headquarters contacted him after last night's television draw, informing him his shop had sold the lucky numbers.

"The ticket came out of our machine. It's great," said Donal, who took over managing the shop from his parents Donie and Ruth in 2012.

"The lottery rep rang me around half past ten last night to tell me the ticket was sold in our Spar in Ballingarry," a jubilant Donal said.

"I got the call. They said, 'we've a bit of great news'".

"I was shocked. I didn't believe it for a second. Ireland is a small country but Ballingarry is a small dot on that. It's great for the locality and it's great for rural Ireland," Donal added.

"There's great excitement, everyone is coming in checking tickets just to be sure," he explained.

"Nobody has come forward as far as we're aware of it. The winner will probably sit down for twenty four hours and think what they are going to do."

Donal admitted the "rumours are rife", and he added, "for whatever reason everybody thinks the shop owner knows who wins the jackpot but we don't have a clue to be honest."

It's the first time the 20-year old local he has sold a winning lotto ticket.

"We've never had one before. Please God it was someone local but we have a lot of passing trade too," Donal said.

"News might break tomorrow on who won, but as we stand - we don't know."

Regarding the hurling season ahead, Donal said Christmas won't be a time of indulgence for the Limerick hurling panel, as they hope to secure the Shannonside county's first All-Ireland title in 43 years.

"The boys are back flaking away in the gym. It's getting earlier and earlier every year."

"Unfortunately no, you can't enjoy Christmas. If you do, you'll pay the price and you'll be left behind. We get tested two weeks before Christmas and two weeks after and they don't want any movement in your body fat. It's gone very strict now," he said.

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