Sunday 15 December 2019

€16m Lotto winner hides among the millionaires

Louise Hogan

DONNYBROOK is no stranger to multimillionaires. But its latest remains a stranger.

Hunting for the holder of the €16.4m winning Lotto ticket in the plush Dublin 4 suburb -- where millionaires were once 10-a-penny -- wasn't easy work yesterday.

Would he or she be checking out the quality wines or choosing a piece of organic salmon as the aroma of fresh bread wafted through the gourmet Donnybrook Fair food store on Morehampton Road perhaps?

The winner -- or potential syndicate -- splashed out €30 on the winning multi-draw ticket in the food emporium on Friday night. Did the person buy a cheese board at the same time?

"Ah, it just would happen to be bought out here," laughed Terry Byrne (31), from Crumlin, who was in Donnybrook to play a soccer match.

"I was kind of half-amused about where the win was to be honest with you," said Daphne Forrest, from nearby Goatstown, as she shopped in the store.

"You would kind of feel maybe that somebody needs it more, but I don't mean that in a begrudging kind of way, it's great."

But the consensus in one of the country's wealthiest neighbourhoods was that the winner should keep 'mum' about their new-found riches.

"I would say it was won locally. This is a corner shop for people who live in the area, but it is not somewhere you would just stop in to buy something," Ms Forrest said. "It is luxury shopping."

Customers yesterday included businessman and 'Dragons' Den' star Gavin Duffy, who bought his ticket in the store, but was adamant he wasn't the winner.

Donnybrook Fair owner and manager, Joe Doyle and his son Ronan, cracked open the bubbly yesterday as they learned they had sold the winning ticket for the fourth largest jackpot in the history of the game. The numbers for the €16,390,239 win were 15, 16, 22, 25, 31, 32 and the bonus number was 37.

"We haven't got a clue, we were just told by the Lottery that it was bought sometime on Friday," Mr Doyle said.

"We have a lot of regular customers who would be doing it when they are doing their grocery shopping."

On a busy Sunday in the store, Mr Doyle said business had remained steady despite the recession.

"Our marking call is the quality of the products we are selling more than anything else," he said.

Shopper Vincent McGauran, who lives in the area, said it was an "incomprehensible" sum of money, comparing it to the excesses of Premiership football.

"It is far too much money, a quarter of that would be sufficient," his wife, Nuala, said. "Who wants €16m in this day and age?"

Most of us?

"There is a stigma attached to (spending money), who is going to buy a BMW. You feel that could be criticised from certain quarters," she said.

Tom Brady, manager of McCloskey's pub next door, said there was the buzz over the winner, but no one had any idea as to who might be the lucky holder of the golden ticket.

At the fire station, asked if they were the lucky ones, one of the paramedics joked: "Do you think we would be here?"

Last night the National Lottery was still none the wiser as to who had scooped the jackpot. The winner was advised to sign the ticket and place it in a safe place until Lottery headquarters reopens on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News