Friday 30 September 2016

'The buses are out there this morning!' - At least five millionaire drivers turned up for work this morning

Ryan Nugent and Meadhbh McGrath

Published 04/07/2016 | 10:06

At least five millionaire bus drivers turned up to work at 7am this morning - despite realising they'd won the lottery less than 48 hours ago.

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A syndicate between the Dublin Bus drivers took home a whopping €23.8m in Friday night's Euromillions draw.

It is understood that there were 22 employees on the syndicate - 21 drivers and one inspector.

Most of whom are in their 50s or nearing retirement age.

Dublin Bus chief inspector at the Broadstone depot, Larry O'Brien said he suspects one or two of them might take an early retirement, but most will probably stay on as normal.

A good few took a day's leave this morning to continue the celebrations, but there's been no official party.

"I'm absolutely jealous," Mr O'Brien said.

"Ah I'm delighted for them, you have to say that, don't you?

"There was no party yet," he added.

Dublin Bus Chief Executive Ray Coyne said: "I am delighted for each and every one of them and their families. It is great to see such a large number of our employees sharing in the win. We wish them all the best."

They weren’t the only ones celebrating at Dublin Bus, as another syndicate collected a notably smaller sum last week.

“We had four of the six numbers, and had all six come in we would have won €15m,” John Cassidy, one of the 50 members of the management syndicate, told RTE Radio One’s Ryan Tubridy Show.

“I was feeling very proud of myself, I won €126, and then all of a sudden we get a phone call and my colleagues downstairs have won the big one. It was quite a weekend.”

While Mr Cassidy noted “it could easily have been us”, he said he was “delighted” for the EuroMillions winners.

“I felt absolutely thrilled and delighted for them, I’m chuffed for them. If you work with people for 25 years and you have to do a difficult job in all weathers, it’s nice when they get a break. It’s absolutely brilliant for them,” he said.

He also described their reactions when he met with a few the winners after they heard the news on Saturday evening.

“It was total disbelief, they were checking the numbers five, six, seven times and checking with each other. Like a rabbit in the headlights, they’re just standing there, they’re just out of it,” he said.

“It was some sight to see the three of them looking at their shoes and looking at the ceiling. You’re asking them questions and it’s nothing – all picture, no sound.”

Mr Cassidy offered some more details on the winners, who were all bus drivers that had worked together for years.

“They’re people that socialise together and go to matches together.

“With the nature of the work that we do being shift work, we spend more time in the company of each other than with our own families. They’re the best of friends too,” he said.

While a number of the brand new millionaires took the day off to celebrate, many of them turned up to work today.

“The atmosphere at work is absolutely unbelievable. First of all (the reaction) was shock and disbelief, and then all of a sudden you could see it in their face, they realised it. I would say they’re still trying to get their heads around it,” he said.

“The buses are out there this morning! These people are mature adults, they have families, they have children and grandchildren, it’s not as if they’re going to go mad. I’m sure quite a few of them will go to work today.”

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