A €4 QUICK PICK lead to a massive €7.37m Lotto jackpot win in county Wexford at the weekend.
At Mass in Boolavogue on Sunday morning Fr. Byrne had the happy task of announcing that the winning ticket had been bought in the village post office less than 24 hours beforehand.
'It was the last of the announcements I made,' said the popular cleric, who smiled as he reported that he had the 100 per cent attention of everybody in the congregation. 'There was a great flurry of excitement and laughter. I wish whoever it is well and hope they use the money wisely.'
Local postmistress Louise Lawless had received a phone call from National Lottery HQ just minutes beforehand to inform her that the jackpot-winning ticket (a €4 Quick Pick selection) had been bought in the business she runs with her husband Alec on Saturday. However, they still don't know the identity of the lucky winner.
'We have had lots of people in checking their tickets but so far no-one has fainted on the floor!' said Alec yesterday (Monday). He pointed out that the new millionaire might not even be from the area, as customers on Saturday included several strangers who were passing through the village on Bank Holiday weekend drives. THE CRAIC was mighty in Boolavogue post office yesterday as customers continued their speculation about who was €7.3 (and a bit) million richer after Saturday's national lottery draw. Just about every person in the parish was mentioned as a possible candidate but no-one really had a clue as to who the overnight Midas might be.
News of the windfall arrived by way of a phone call to Boolavogue from lottery headquarters taken by post mistress Louise Lawless before 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. She contacted curate Father Michael Byrne who ended Mass with advice to worshippers to check their Lotto tickets.
'It was the last of the announcements I made,' said the popular cleric who found that he suddenly had the undivided attention of his congregation. 'There was a great flurry of excitement and laughter. I wish whoever it is well and hope they use the money wisely.'
With the word out about the most exciting thing to happen to the parish since 1798, journalists from the national press descended on Boolavogue throughout the day. The St. Cormac's AFC players found themselves being interviewed as they left the pitch, not about the match they had just played, but about the destiny of the lotto money.
The happy bombshell triggered a raft of rumours across Boolavogue and around the bar in Kelly's of The Harrow, the local pub. However, though everyone present was quizzed about their recent investments, the lucky winner was not amongst those who popped in for a pint.
'There were no rounds bought for everyone and no champagne - everything was very quiet,' confirmed Ger Turner, whose family run the business. Good natured gossip about the multi-million winner centred on the post office where the ticket was bought some time on Saturday.
Amidst the speculation, post master Alec Lawless insisted that he could not say exactly when the €4 quick pick was bought. In business at the post office with his wife Louise for the past 16 years, they have been selling national lottery tickets for the past two years and their biggest win previously was no more than €2,000.
Now the Lawless family is in line for a €15,000 payout as a result of the good fortune being enjoyed by someone whose identity may never be publicly known. Alec pointed out that the money may not necessarily be coming to Boolavogue at all and that an outsider could have stumbled on the fortune.
'I get a certain amount of passing trade here. There were a few strangers in on Saturday,' he said in an effort to calm everyone down.