Thursday 27 July 2017

'I haven't seen this excitement since Mayo won their last All Ireland' - €29m EuroMillions winners stay silent as town pops the champagne

Umesh Kumar and his wife Rozalia and son Arjun at their shop in Castlebar. Photo: Damien Eagers
Umesh Kumar and his wife Rozalia and son Arjun at their shop in Castlebar. Photo: Damien Eagers

Ryan O'Rourke

They may be €29m richer, but Ireland's latest EuroMillions winners are keeping news of the windfall to themselves.

Lotto fever has gripped Castlebar, and speculation is mounting as to the identity of Ireland's latest millionaire.

If the winners are still in the Co Mayo town, they are certainly not displaying any outward sign of celebration or extravagance. But that doesn't mean well-wishers in Castlebar won't celebrate for them.

Customers were calling throughout the day to Umesh Kumar's shop on Pound Road in the town after it emerged his Garryduff XL Stores sold the winning ticket.

"It's great, it's such an amazing experience," Mr Kumar, who gets €25,000 for selling the winning slip.

"You can't really get your head around it, that you sold a ticket worth €29m.

"I'm hoping to get more business now, and you never know, if we can sell one ticket we can sell another maybe.

"I'm nobody to advise the winner now because they are nearly €29m richer than me, but they might advise the whole world now where to buy your next EuroMillions ticket."

Mr Kumar, who came to Ireland from India in 2011 and lives with wife Rozalia Csemer and son Arjun in Castlebar, says he doesn't know who could have bought the winning ticket.

"You can't speculate, you never know who it could be," he said.

Johnny Mee, the former six-time mayor of Castlebar, lives across the road from Garryduff Stores, and says he hasn't seen this level of excitement since Mayo won Sam in 1951.

"It's wonderful for Castlebar - and it's my belief it's a local person. I have never seen the excitement since Mayo won their last All Ireland, there was singing and dancing and champagne all over the place."

Mr Mee reckons Castlebar is the best town in which to buy a EuroMillions ticket - in 2014 it hit the headlines after a ticket for €14m was sold there.

"I think it's a very lucky town, I encourage anyone who's buying tickets to buy them in Castlebar," he said.

The winner, or winners, have made contact with the National Lottery and have 90 days to collect their winnings .

Customer Fiona Conway laughed off any suggestions she could be the winner as she made her way to Garryduff Stores yesterday morning.

"Oh I wish it was - my daughter would buy a million puppies and I'd pay off my mortgage. We hope it's somebody we know, maybe we'll get a car or a holiday," she said.

Irish Independent

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