Wednesday 7 December 2016

'I'm absolutely hoping it's a local winner' - manager of shop that sold €66m Euromillions ticket

Fiona Dillon and Louise Kelly

Published 11/02/2016 | 18:08

It’s a balancing act for acrobats Henrik Gard and Leidy Vidal who are getting to grips with €130 million ahead of Friday’s EuroMillions jackpot.Picture Andres Poveda
It’s a balancing act for acrobats Henrik Gard and Leidy Vidal who are getting to grips with €130 million ahead of Friday’s EuroMillions jackpot.Picture Andres Poveda
The winning ticket was sold at the Fairgreen shopping centre complex (Photo: Google Maps)
National Lottery (stock photo)

The champagne was flowing freely outside the Carlow store that sold the winning €66m Euromillions ticket which was claimed yesterday.

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The ticket was sold in the Eason's Store, Fairgreen Shopping Centre, and co-owner Eoin Hennigan said that it has been receiving lots of congratulations from customers since the news broke earlier today.

The lucky ticket was sold on January 27th, and a syndicate of friends, who have remained anonymous claimed the prize at National Lottery offices in Dublin yesterday.

Mr Hennigan (41) said that everybody is hoping that it is locals who have won the massive prize.

"I am absolutely hoping it's a local. It would be a great boost to the economy, and it's good for the area, and it's good for the shopping centre. Obviously, it's good for us, and good for the winners," Mr Hennigan, told Independent.ie

"The winners want to remain anonymous, and we have to respect that," he said.

"We have never sold a jackpot ticket before. We are open just over four years, and we had been hoping for it, so we are happy."

He said that he has no idea who won.  "I haven't heard any rumours, I just don't know," he said. "We can't even speculate. So many people bought EuroMillions tickets around this time, because it was such a big jackpot," he said.

"I found out yesterday that we had sold the winning ticket at around 4.30pm. A Lotto representative informed me.

"The rep came in and he asked me to sit down and I knew something was up," he said. Mr Hennigan then learned about the big news, but couldn't tell anyone until this morning.

"I didn't get much sleep last night," he said.

He said there had been great excitement since the word spread. "Something like this spreads very quickly. Customers are coming in and congratulating us. It's great."

Speaking about the intense publicity surrounding the win, he pointed out:  "Andy Warhol said everyone gets 15 minutes of fame.  "This is my 15 minutes," he said.

The winning ticket was won by a syndicate of friends who picked up their winnings yesterday at the National Lottery HQ in Dublin.

The winners claimed their share of the €132,376,632  jackpot at the National Lottery office after presenting their lucky €15 Quick Pick ticket.

Wishing for their identities to remain private, a spokesperson for the group said that they are nonetheless overwhelmed by their "enormous good fortune".

Read More: Friends who won 66 million euro in syndicate choose to keep their names secret

"We are completely dumbstruck to have won this fantastic prize," said the purchaser of the ticket, which was bought last Wednesday.

"The ads are true; it is riches beyond your wildest dreams, even when it's shared by a group like this. It's a life changing amount of money for each of us."

Another winning ticket was purchased in France, which meant that the Irish winners claimed half of the jackpot.

This jackpot win collection ranks as the fourth highest, in terms of the size of EuroMillions jackpots won in Ireland, of which there have been eight.

Dolores McNamara won over €115m in the largest Irish EuroMillions win to date in August 2005.

Read More: Irish Euromillions winner will have to wait until next week to collect massive €66m win

In July 2008, a €15m winning ticket was sold in Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary and a €29.4m winning ticket was sold in Dublin in June 2009.

More recently, a lucky player won €94m with a ticket purchased in Mace, Beaumont, Dublin 9 in June 13 while a young man from the South East shared a jackpot of over €25.6 million with a player in Spain in September of that year.

In 2014, there were two wins: a €15m jackpot won by a family with a ticket was purchased in Stauntons Costcutter Express, Castlebar, Co. Mayo; and in September an €86.7m EuroMillions jackpot was won from a ticket purchased in Ballybrack, Dublin by a syndicate.

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