No flights of fancy for €16m Lottery winners
IRELAND'S newest multi-millionaires finally collected their Lotto winnings yesterday -- but not even the €16,717,717 jackpot can buy them a holiday.
The couple from Co Waterford, who have not revealed their identities to the public, have seen their travel plans scuppered by the fallout from the Icelandic volcano.
"The ultimate irony is that even though we now have the funds to go anywhere in the world we want to, there's no chance right now of flying off to sunnier climates," they said.
"But we're absolutely thrilled to have won this jackpot and thanks to everyone who played for making it the second highest jackpot in the history of the Lotto game.
"We found out we were the winners on the evening of the draw but it was such a surprise to the system for ourselves and our family that we needed time to consider how we would handle it.
"We decided to take some advice from friends, and that's why we left it for a few days before collecting.
"It's going to take time for all this to sink in, and we do expect our lives to change. But we're going to take it slowly -- for the moment anyhow."
In a statement released by the National Lottery, the couple said they would be donating money to various charities and would also help out their family and friends.
"Then for ourselves, we hope to do more travelling," they added.
The jackpot the lucky couple scooped was the largest ever won by a single ticket-holder and came tantalisingly close to beating the largest ever jackpot -- amounting to nearly €19m -- which was won by a syndicate of 16 Carlow workers in June 2008.
This time out, the pair purchased their €6 Quickpick ticket in an Easons outlet in the Dungarvan Shopping Centre in Co Waterford on the day of the draw.
The life-changing pot rolled over nine times from March 10 until it was finally won on April 14.