Friday 20 October 2017

Rumours swirl as €88m jackpot winners lie low

The National Lottery was remaining tight-lipped about where the winning ticket was purchased (Stock photo)
The National Lottery was remaining tight-lipped about where the winning ticket was purchased (Stock photo)
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A syndicate linked to the Janssen pharmaceutical plant in Co Cork is at the centre of mounting speculation about the massive €88m EuroMillions win.

But Limerick and Mayo have also been linked to the huge haul which was won by an Irish-bought ticket on Tuesday night.

Lotto fever ramped up even further when the National Lottery last night confirmed that the ticket holders have been in touch to make arrangements to collect their prize money.

The National Lottery was remaining tight-lipped about where the winning ticket was purchased.

But fuelled by radio station phone-in claims and social media speculation, the rumours changed by the hour over who had won the massive jackpot.

The day opened with a claim that a Limerick-based syndicate of Johnson & Johnson workers had won the €88m.

However, two hours later that rumour had changed to a Johnson & Johnson syndicate based in Little Island in Cork.

Later, the syndicate had expanded to 30 members - but they were now said to be among staff at the Janssen pharmaceuticals plant in Little Island.

Janssen is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

At the same time, other rumours were linking the jackpot to a family-based syndicate in Mayo, a Cork harbour-based taxi driver and an eastern European family living in Dublin.

At Fitzpatrick's Shop, the largest National Lottery agents in Little Island, staff were swamped by rumours but starved of hard information.

"The rumours have been flying all day," shop official Kerri O'Neill said.

"I've heard that it was a 30-strong worker syndicate in a local plant. That would be lovely if it's true because so many people would then benefit from the jackpot. It would also be lovely if it was won locally."

However, Fitzpatrick's said it had received no contact from the National Lottery.

In Ringaskiddy, the rumour mill was also going into overdrive. "I heard this morning that it was won in Limerick but they're saying now that it was won here in Ringaskiddy," resident Jim Murphy said.

"I'm not so sure about that - I saw loads of people having teas and coffees this morning but I didn't see a single soul out drinking Champagne."

Irish Independent

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