A TESCO worker at the centre of a legal row with her employer over a winning €500,000 lottery ticket was not at work yesterday.
Andrea O'Reilly (26), from Navan, Co Meath accidentally issued the ticket to a customer and later claimed it as her own.
She said she had planned to pay for the €9 lottery ticket, but was prevented from doing so by her employer.
Ms O'Reilly now plans to sue her employer.
She says she accidentally issued the prize-winning €9 ticket to a customer at a Tesco store in Navan Town Centre shopping complex but quickly realised the customer had requested a €4 ticket.
She claimed she then reissued the customer with the correct ticket and taped the other ticket to the side of her till.
Ms O'Reilly said she intended to later buy it for herself if no one else requested a €9 ticket that night. When nobody did, Ms O'Reilly says she tried to buy it, but claims she was given no option to do so.
She has worked for Tesco for more than six-and-a-half years.
It had previously been reported that a customer had been issued with a €9 ticket after requesting a less expensive one, at which point the customer returned the ticket, asking for a €4 one.
However, Ms O'Reilly said this never occurred, and the winning ticket did not, in fact, exchange hands.
Speaking through her solicitor Michael Shanley, Ms O'Reilly said: "It's common practice that an employee has the option of purchasing a ticket that was issued to a customer."
She said she marked the ticket with a sad smiley face and stuck it to her till, before returning the following morning to pay for it, but was not given permission to do so.
"All I have to say at this stage is that I had the ticket and I now no longer have it," she said.
Tesco workers at Navan Town Centre were reluctant to discuss the issue yesterday, saying Ms O'Reilly was not at work.
They would not confirm whether Ms O'Reilly was still employed by the supermarket.
A Tesco spokesman confirmed it had received legal notifications from the employee's solicitor but would make no further comment.