Thursday 27 April 2017

Lottery fever hits town as locals hope winner is in their midst

Lorraine O’Connor, the owner of Carey’s shop in Belmullet, where the winning €13.7m Lotto ticket was sold on Saturday, with her daughter Molly O’Connor and staff members. Photo: Paul Mealey
Lorraine O’Connor, the owner of Carey’s shop in Belmullet, where the winning €13.7m Lotto ticket was sold on Saturday, with her daughter Molly O’Connor and staff members. Photo: Paul Mealey
Lorraine O’Connor, the owner of Carey’s shop in Belmullet, where the winning €13.7m Lotto ticket was sold on Saturday. Photo: Paul Mealey

Ryan Nugent

Lottery fever gripped the Co Mayo town of Belmullet yesterday - with speculation mounting as to the identity of the winner of the massive €13.7m jackpot.

The €10 Quick Pick ticket was sold by local shop, Carey's - the second major lottery winner sold in the store in the past six months.

A €500,000 Euromillions ticket was sold there in August, while the shop also sold a winning ticket worth €350,000 in 2012.

Shop-owner Lorraine O'Connor declared her family to be the luckiest Lotto ticket sellers in the country - with her store, her uncle's Carey's shop in Lucan, Co Dublin, and her aunt's newsagent in Galway, selling 15 major winning tickets between them.

"My dad owned the business since 1982 and sold a winning ticket worth £500,000 in 1987 - so this is our second National Lottery win," she said.

The seaside shop was packed with locals yesterday, who busied themselves rubbing off the staff for luck.

The shop also handed out scratch cards to regular customers in an attempt to spread the luck around the town.

"We live in a small enough town and everybody knows everybody so everybody is coming in to us, wishing us well, asking have we heard who the winner is - it's a real community thing," Ms O'Connor said.

"The girls who were on on Saturday are all wondering who it might have been and who sold it."

Local councillor Rose Conway Walsh hopes the winner is local. "It would be brilliant if it was someone from the area. I hope it brings them happiness and they share it about and I hope it's someone I know very well," she said.

The winning numbers were 10, 12, 13, 19, 43, 45 and the bonus was 5.

Irish Independent

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