PUNTERS have cleaned out the tills at Paddy Power's betting shops after collecting more than half a million euro in winnings on golf's Irish Open champion Shane Lowry.
And the bookmaker told the Irish Independent that he expected to shell out up to €1m in total on Shane Lowry prize winnings.
There was a steady flow of the golfer's friends and members of the Lowry and Scanlon families arriving in the Paddy Power outlet in Tullamore, Co Offaly, all day yesterday.
Shane's cousin, Brian Lowry, finally collected his windfall of more than €3,000 after his third visit to the bookmaker's.
"I put a tenner down each way at 250/1 so I collected over €3,000. My own mother put her bet on in Paddy Power's in Athlone, she had no bother because there wasn't as many backing him there."
"He was really popular, most of the bets were during the tour when he was doing well."
The bookie received everything from €1 each way bets all the way up to €3,000.
He said the odds changed up to a "hundred times" over the weekend. "We went from 300/1, it was still available at that the whole way up until it tumbled. He went to 2/1 favourite on the last day, his odds changed so much."
Paddy Power came to an "arrangement" with a number of punters who received odds at 3,000/1. The odds were released as a mistake and the correct figure was actually 300/1.
"With those bets, we've come to an arrangement and everyone's happy with the outcome."
However, he wouldn't disclose the amount of money that he agreed to settle with the people involved because of a "confidential agreement".
"Everyone had a nice winner," he added.
One man received around €10,000 after he placed a €25 each way bet at 300/1.
"I ran out of money twice in Tullamore (on Monday), the last time it happened was when Padraig Harrington won the British Open," said the bookmaker.
Despite the massive payout Paddy Power said he couldn't help but "roar" at the putts to go in as he watched the Irishman's performance.
It's understood Shane Lowry will announce his decision on when he's to turn pro at a press conference tonight.
But before that, the 22-year-old golfing champion took time out of his busy schedule to visit his old secondary school, Ard Scoil Chiarain Naofa in Clara, Co Offaly, yesterday.
Staff and pupils at the school were thrilled with his arrival after the golfer told them to pursue their dreams.
The school, which has a long list of renowned past pupils, including the Taoiseach Brian Cowen, had photographs of Shane Lowry hanging inside the hallway from his golfing achievements and his debs ball.
Sports co-ordinator at Ard Scoil Chiarain Naofa, Larry Lynam, who taught Lowry said he was a "role model" for other students.
He said the young man was a goalkeeper for the school hurling team and played in corner forward on the football team. "He started playing golf in his Junior Cert year, he mostly played hurling and football before that, but in his fifth year when he started to get very good at it, the GUI [Golfing Union of Ireland] advised him to cut back on hurling and football to avoid any injuries. He was always very versatile with sports," he added.
School secretary Catherine Buckley said she remembered Shane as a "very pleasant" student.