Sunday 20 October 2019

'€175m is a dream come true for us,' says family syndicate

Lucky siblings from north Dublin claim bumper EuroMillions win

Jackpot: Les Reilly, owner of the shop where the ticket was sold, celebrates with niece Carly Reilly Flynn, left, and staff Martina White and Anne Morgan. Photo: Collins
Jackpot: Les Reilly, owner of the shop where the ticket was sold, celebrates with niece Carly Reilly Flynn, left, and staff Martina White and Anne Morgan. Photo: Collins
Ciara Burke, owner of the Sage and Stone café. Photo: Arthur Carron
Bernie Moore and Margaret Murray. Photo: Arthur Carron
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

The ticket-holder of a family syndicate set to collect a €175m Euromillions win "didn't sleep a wink" the night they won it and hid the ticket under the mattress.

A large family, originally from the Naul in north county Dublin - but who also live in areas of Duleek and Bellewstown in Co Meath - said they are prepared to collect their winnings following the biggest ever jackpot won in Ireland.

It's understood the group of winners - which include around six brothers and sisters - met with National Lottery bosses yesterday, deposited the ticket into a safe and stayed in a Dublin hotel last night after they had the winning numbers from Tuesday night's draw.

They say the life-changing winnings will be spread around the family and will include children and grandchildren - but also insisted they don't want their lives to dramatically change.

The family spokesperson, who is married to one of the syndicate, said: "This is unbelievable. It will take us some time to get our heads around this win and to organise ourselves."

He added: "We are a very close family. We meet every week and we take holidays together every year. This is a dream come through for us. We don't want this to change our lives. What is so exciting is that we will be able to share this money with children, grandchildren and extended family members."

One of the syndicate realised their good fortune when she checked the winning ticket after the draw.

She said: "I heard on the RTÉ News that there was a win in Ireland and I caught the last three numbers. I checked the rest of the numbers online. I was numb. It took a bit of convincing everybody that we had won."

The family member put the winning ticket in an Argos catalogue and put it under her mattress for safe-keeping. "I didn't sleep a wink all night."

A daughter of one of the syndicate winners described the news as "such a big shock".

"It really hasn't sunk in, she only told us this morning," she said.

And no decisions have been made yet on what the money will be spent on.

Before heading to Dublin, a number of family members stopped off at a local Duleek café, Sage and Stone, with owner Ciara Burke describing them as a "lovely family" and said that the size of the family will ensure the money gets spread around.

Ms Burke said the celebrations had already been in full flow from the night before.

"I said will I open a bottle of Champagne and they said no, we've had enough Champagne," she said.

"It's great, it's great for the village and great for the local area," she added.

Two sisters who also live in the area told the Irish Independent it couldn't happen to a nicer family.

"The people who are speculated to have won, decent, hard-working people, have big families and €175m will go a long way," Bernie Moore said.

Margaret Murray, another local, said she knew the family very well.

"It couldn't come to nicer people and I wish them luck and hope it brings them all the health and happiness. Everybody is delighted," she said.

The lucky ticket was sold at Reilly's Daybreak store in the Naul, with shop owner Les Reilly admitting he got sick with the shock when Lottery officials told him it was sold in his shop.

"When he rang me, my legs went to jelly and I had to go down the back and puke," he said.

Irish Independent

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