Saturday 3 December 2016

Just the ticket -- it's a champagne celebration for €11m Lotto winners

Greg Harkin

Published 27/09/2011 | 05:00

Annette Howard, left, fills up the glass of Martin McIntyre, as his wife Evelyn waves and daughter Sandra, in black, behind, celebrate yesterday at
the EuroSpar shop in Belmullet, Co Mayo, where their winning ticket was bought on Friday. Photo: RTE
Annette Howard, left, fills up the glass of Martin McIntyre, as his wife Evelyn waves and daughter Sandra, in black, behind, celebrate yesterday at the EuroSpar shop in Belmullet, Co Mayo, where their winning ticket was bought on Friday. Photo: RTE

THE country's newest multi-millionaires returned yesterday to the place where a moment's luck changed their lives forever.

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Sheep farmer Martin McIntyre, his wife Evelyn and their four grown-up children are slowly coming to terms with the €11m Lotto jackpot they scooped on Saturday.

Yesterday, they returned to the shop in Belmullet, Co Mayo, where the winning ticket was bought.

"We still don't believe this," Evelyn said. "We came in (to the shop) to get phone credit for (daughter) Sandra's phone and I decided to do a Quick Pick while I was here.

"Now we will look at a wee holiday in a while, definitely a new wardrobe and a new car for Martin," she joked.

"But only if I'm good," added her husband, laughing.

Daughter Sandra, a schoolteacher in Dublin, was at the family's semi-detached family bungalow -- which is in the townland of Knocknalina, Ballyglass, 8km from where the ticket was bought last Friday.

"We are still just taking this all in. We're obviously delighted but it just hasn't sunk in yet," she said.

Her mum checked her €4 Quick Pick ticket while watching the Lotto draw on television on Saturday night.

Yesterday, she and her husband returned to their local EuroSpar to sip champagne with owner Annette Howard.

Mrs McIntyre said she was shaking as she gave the ticket to her husband to double check.

Ms Howard said the win had lifted the whole area. "They are such a lovely family; very quiet and unassuming," she said.

"It couldn't happen to a nicer family and everyone in the Belmullet area is genuinely pleased for them.

"Eveyln is in here all the time, she's a regular and we are all delighted for her. There's tough times around here at the moment so good news like this has cheered the whole area."

Yesterday, more local residents were queuing to buy tickets for tonight's EuroMillions draw.

"You never know," said Ms Howard, "we might just sell another winner."

Irish Independent

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