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For peat's sake: Bord na Mona worker wins €1.25m in Lotto

THERE were jubilant scenes as Ireland's latest Lotto winners walked through the doors of a shop to announce their €1.25m windfall.

Bord na Mona worker Ger Hand and his wife, Ann, dropped into O'Brien's corner shop in Lanesboro, Co Longford, and could barely contain their excitement after their numbers came up in the weekend Lotto draw.

The married parents of two girls from Newtowncashel shared the €2,584,457 jackpot with another lucky winner from Ballina, Co Mayo, who has yet to come forward.

Shopkeeper Joe O'Brien said the couple gave no indication as to how they would spend the money because "they were just so excited".

"They are such a warm family, it's just brilliant," he said. "It's great to see people like that, that they have financial security for life."

The shopkeeper thought he had found the winner when, early yesterday morning, a man came in and "looked kind of shook".

On checking the man's ticket the advice was to call the lottery office, explained Mr O'Brien. It transpired the man was the only person in Ireland who had drawn five numbers and the bonus in Saturday's draw, winning €25,000. "So we had first and second in the lotto," laughed Mr O'Brien.

Mr Hand enjoyed a night out in his local pub, The Peer, on Saturday unaware that he was the newest millionaire. He was supporting a fundraiser run by Sue Grace when he heard one of the winning tickets had been sold in Lanesboro. He joked that it could be him.

"He said, 'I'll check it when I get home'," laughed Ms Grace.

Down in the pub they were all joking, as those who had encountered him had warned him not to let it change him.

Irish Independent