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€350,000 winner leaves Lotto HQ empty-handed

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Dermot Finglas leaving Lotto HQ after being told that a number of clarifications had to be made before the windfall could be released to him

Dermot Finglas leaving Lotto HQ after being told that a number of clarifications had to be made before the windfall could be released to him

Dermot Finglas, accompanied by his father, Dermot Snr, emerges in a hurry from the National Lottery headquarters on Abbey Street, Dublin
yesterday

Dermot Finglas, accompanied by his father, Dermot Snr, emerges in a hurry from the National Lottery headquarters on Abbey Street, Dublin yesterday

Dermot signs his name on the back of his ticket watched by his father and Tom Heavey, the honest shopkeeper who tracked him down

Dermot signs his name on the back of his ticket watched by his father and Tom Heavey, the honest shopkeeper who tracked him down

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Dermot Finglas leaving Lotto HQ after being told that a number of clarifications had to be made before the windfall could be released to him

IT was supposed to be one of the best days of his life.

But instead the unemployed DJ at the centre of the missing €350,000 Lotto ticket saga was left empty-handed when he went to collect his winnings yesterday.

An agitated Dermot Finglas (35) said he wasn't feeling "too good" as he left National Lottery headquarters yesterday morning after he was told by officials that a number of clarifications had to be made before the windfall was released to him.

Mr Finglas hit the headlines over the weekend when he was discovered to be the mystery owner of a €350,000 winning ticket which he had left in a local store.

Honest shopkeeper Tom Heavey was determined to see it returned to its rightful owner and tracked the Drogheda native down by using CCTV footage.

But Mr Finglas's fortune took another twist yesterday as he was told that he wasn't guaranteed the windfall just yet.

Lotto spokeswoman Paula McEvoy told the Irish Independent that a number of points had to be "clarified" due to the unusual circumstances regarding the win.

She said Mr Heavey's signature was also written on the ticket and that the winnings could not be handed out before consultations had taken place with him.

He had written "paid for -- Tom" on the ticket after Mr Finglas walked out of the McDonnell's Centra store in Drogheda, Co Louth, to ensure it was not sold to anybody else.

Inquiries

But it was only when Mr Finglas's father, Dermot Snr, recognised his son in a CCTV picture published in the newspapers that news of his new-found wealth filtered back to him.

It is understood that Lotto officials are satisfied that Mr Finglas is the genuine winner and that they are conducting inquiries purely as a matter of course.

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But Mr Finglas was clearly uptight yesterday and said he did "not want to talk about it" as he left Lotto headquarters accompanied by his father.

It was a big change from earlier in the day when he was in buoyant mood as he spoke of his intentions for his winnings. "It's just a nice feeling to know that you don't really have to worry about getting up in the morning," he said.

"I'm looking at maybe going to the Canary Islands and opening up a little beach bar or something along those lines."

Mr Finglas also stressed that he would be looking after his parents as well as Mr Heavey, whom he described as unbelievably honest.

Meanwhile, the identity of the winner of Ireland's €29m EuroMillions jackpot continues to be shrouded in mystery.

Lotto officials are keeping the location where the ticket was bought under wraps. The winner -- who scooped half of the overall €58m jackpot last Friday after picking the numbers 6, 14, 16, 34 and 50, with lucky stars 4 and 6 -- must collect the cheque in person from Lotto headquarters.

The other half of the jackpot was won by two pensioners in England. Neighbours of Brian and Joan Caswell -- who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary -- said the couple were whisked away by limousine this morning, shortly before press and TV descended on their home in Bolton.


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