Sunday 25 September 2016

Lotto luck continues for village with latest €11m win

Greg Harkin, Allison Bray and Paddy Clancy

Published 22/08/2016 | 02:30

Shop owners Noel McGowan and Martina McGowan Photo: James Connolly
Shop owners Noel McGowan and Martina McGowan Photo: James Connolly

It is a village with a population of just over 350, but Kinlough has had more than its share of giant Lotto wins.

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Noel McGowan and his staff are used to running up winning tickets at his Spar shop in the north Leitrim village.

And after selling three big winners over the past decade - all of whom stayed anonymous - the biggest winner of all is sitting on a €11,179,621 fortune after their numbers came up.

Those numbers - 10, 11, 12, 15, 18 and 19 - sparked speculation that someone with six children of those ages had won the cash.

All day, there was speculation as to who might be only the 20th person in the country to land a win topping €10m.

"Whoever it was hasn't been running around the main street shouting about it," said Noel.

"It's mad. Everyone is checking their tickets and wondering who it is but I haven't seen anyone going mad."

It was also fourth time someone has won big - although not this big - in Kinlough.

Noel sold a Lotto Plus 2 €250,000 ticket last October. He said: "There were six winners of the jackpot back in 2005. Two of those tickets were bought here on the one day. They got €225,000 each."

Patricia Hill, who runs the community games in Kinlough, said the village was still guessing at the winner from last year.

"There were no great flashes of wealth with that one and this one may well be the same," she said. "Someone, I'm sure, will make good use of it all - and good luck to whoever it was."

With hundreds of tourists in the area - Bundoran is just a few kilometres away - speculation was pointing towards a possible lucky holidaymaker.

Local taxi man Thomas Kelly, of A Cab Hire, said it took a while for the news to filter through the village last night.

Spending

But to date he hasn't noticed any conspicuous consumption.

"Nobody was splashing the cash last night. Everyone is watching to see if anyone is spending a lot," he said.

"There is big excitement, but it may be someone from another county. If it happened in the winter, it would definitely be a local but at this time of the year it could be anyone."

Chef Piero Melis, owner of The Courtyard hotel and restaurant in the village, said he didn't see anyone celebrating like there was no tomorrow.

"It wasn't me. But if it was, I'd be off to Sardinia," he said.

The result of the win was even announced during Mass at St Aidan's parish church.

The lucky streak in the region continues after a winner from Co Sligo scooped €8.2m in June and a Co Mayo family won €13.8m in January.

Irish Independent

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