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Friday 23 March 2018

€8m Lotto still not received by winner as rumours grip winning town

Greg Harkin

THE mystery person who “won” €8.2m on the lottery still hasn’t received the money.

However, the National Lottery said its 90-day claim rule doesn’t apply as a dispute continues between the organisation and the “holder” of the winning ticket.

It rubbished claims that the winner has been demanding to be paid in cash.

That is just one of the many rumours circulating in Sligo, where the winning ticket was bought in March.

Other untrue rumours include that the winner was part of a syndicate that had fallen out with each other; that the winner is a builder who owes the banks a considerable sum or money; or that the winner is a convicted criminal.

In the meantime, sales at the shop where the winning ticket was sold have doubled.

The winner of the €8,244,502 prize picked up a €20 normal play ticket on Saturday, March 5 – the day of the draw.

The winning numbers were 2, 8, 16, 24, 33, 42 and the bonus number was 47.

It was the second jackpot prize to be sold by Matt Lyons at his XL shop and newsagents on Stephen Street in Sligo. A €4m winning ticket was sold here in 2009.

“They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but it has here,” said Matt’s son, Alan.

“We’re probably the most famous shop in Ireland at this stage with the ongoing dispute over the €8m ticket.

“So many more people have been popping in to do the Lotto than ever before. It has certainly been good for business.

“However, it would be good for the whole thing to be settled. Personally I hope it is a syndicate so a few people get a share in it.”

That is also the view of customers buying lotto tickets this week.

“As has always been the case, the National Lottery never comments on the specifics of individual claims to protect the privacy of the claimant," a spokesperson for the Lotto said. 

"In line with our normal policy, we will update once this prize money has been collected.

"Players have 90 days from the draw date within which to claim their prize."

Sources laughed off suggestions that the winner was a builder who owes money to the banks – or that he wants paid in cash.

Athlone-based solicitor Tony McLynn, who represents the ticket holder, was unavailable for comment.

Despite the “excitement” of the win the delay of the €8.24m payment had been difficult to accept.

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