You can't take bog out of the man, says €1.25m Lotto winner
NEWLY minted millionaire Ger Hand has revealed that a string of lucky coincidences led to him nabbing a €1.25m windfall.
The Bord na Mona superviser may be about to have a seven-figure bank account but the father of two won't be giving up his day job.
"Everyone says, 'Are you going to quit the job?'," quipped Mr Hand. "I won't. I love the job and the fellows I work with. You won't get me sitting in the Bahamas. You can take the man out of the bog but you can't take the bog out of the man."
Come Monday, Mr Hand – who lives with his wife Ann and daughters Ann-Marie (16) and Laura (10), outside Newtowncashel, Co Longford – will be back at work in his job of 26 years at Bord na Mona.
He shared last weekend's Lotto jackpot with another lucky winner from Ballina, Co Mayo, and said a string of coincidences led to him winning the money.
Mr Hand generously gave a parking spot to a mother in the nearby town of Lanesboro. He then managed to squeeze into a spot outside shopkeeper Joe O'Brien's premises.
"I looked up and the Lotto sign was there and I hadn't done the Lotto in a while," he said, explaining that he had €2 left over after buying a drink and so added that onto his €10 Lotto ticket.
His wife Ann said it was the extra €2 that won them the money.
Mr Hand woke up with a feeling on Sunday that he had won the Lotto.
Ann recalled: "He woke up at around 7am and told me, 'I've a feeling I've won the Lotto.' I said, 'You're joking me."
After he had checked the numbers, daughter Ann-Marie double-checked.
Ger joked: "I said, 'Ann Hand you are talking to a millionaire."
He added: "We roared and screamed around the town for ages after it. We've got thousands of calls, the town is alive. I can't really describe it, it is like walking on air.
" I'm not going to start racing around in yachts. We'll go somewhere but I'm not going to squander it."