Tuesday 18 June 2019

'It's like being in jail' - €175m Euromillions jackpot winner

Jackpot joy is waning for EuroMillions winners

Michale Hayes (left) from the National Lottery sprays champagne as Les Reilly (centre) and the staff of Reilly's Daybreak in Naul, Co Dublin, celebrate selling the EuroMillions ó175 million winning lotto ticket. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Michale Hayes (left) from the National Lottery sprays champagne as Les Reilly (centre) and the staff of Reilly's Daybreak in Naul, Co Dublin, celebrate selling the EuroMillions ó175 million winning lotto ticket. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Patrick O'Connell

A member of the €175m EuroMillions winning family has said the massive publicity surrounding the win is taking its toll on them. Matt Rogers, from Naul, north Dublin, said: "It's like being in jail."

The farmer was standing behind the padlocked gate of his farmyard yesterday when he said: "I was happy at the start but now with all this … [people calling] … it's like being in prison.

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"It's just a lot to take in."

Asked if he would take part in a press conference with his siblings in the coming days, he shrugged and said: "There will be something next week alright."

Winner: Matt Rogers
Winner: Matt Rogers

He said his sister telephoned him earlier in the day and told him "not to say anything".

The farmer then walked back inside the rear of his modest cottage home.

Details of the family's incredible fortune emerged within a day of the National Lottery announcing last Tuesday night's win.

And sisters Kathleen Sheridan and Christine Rogers had confirmed their family syndicate had scooped the big one as they enjoyed a celebratory lunch at the Bracken Court hotel in Balbriggan in Co Dublin last week.

Matt, Kathleen and Christine are three of nine siblings from a quietly spoken and highly respected north Dublin family.

Kathleen, who lives in Duleek, said last week the massive family win was "a lot to take in".

The owner of the shop that sold the winning ticket, Reilly's Daybreak on Main Street in The Naul, Les Reilly, who scooped a €25,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, revealed he had thrown up with the excitement on learning the ticket had been sold in the shop.

"I was physically sick, no word of a lie," he said. "I'm over the moon and can't believe it. We never sold a big one before. We must have been waiting for the big one."

Describing the family's reaction to the win last week, Christine said: "It's great that it is all one family.

"There is six of us, we are splitting (the money) between nine of us."

Yesterday, lotto kiosks across the country were ringing in record takings as punters hoped the Rogers' family luck might rub off on them.

Joe Hynes, of Joel Ticket Sales in the Omni Shopping Centre in Santry, north Dublin, said lottery ticket sales were up massively in the last two days.

"The publicity over the EuroMillions win has definitely put it in people's minds to buy a ticket," he said.

And sales were helped by the fact last night's jackpot of €10m was the largest up for grabs in the Irish National Lottery in the last two years.

Only 20 jackpots higher than €10m have ever been won since the game began 31 years ago.

The largest ever National Lottery win was a jackpot of €19m won in Carlow in 2008.

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