Thursday 18 January 2018

Could it be them? Speculation mounts that factory workers in Cork are the lucky €88m EuroMillions jackpot winners

Lotto fever is in full swing

Fitzpatrick's Shop, Glounthane, Co Cork where a winning lottery ticket may have been sold. Manager Laura Wilson with staff Kerri O'Neill, Sylvia Mullen and Isaac Horgan Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Fitzpatrick's Shop, Glounthane, Co Cork where a winning lottery ticket may have been sold. Manager Laura Wilson with staff Kerri O'Neill, Sylvia Mullen and Isaac Horgan Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Louise Kelly, Allison Bray, Ralph Riegel and Amy Molloy

Following last night’s EuroMillions Irish jackpot win of €88,587,275, the National Lottery can confirm that the ticket holders have been in touch to make arrangements to collect their prize money.

Cork, Limerick and Mayo were the primary locations linked by rumour to the massive €88 million EuroMillions haul.

Fuelled by radio station phone-in claims and social media speculations, the rumours changed by the hour over who had won the massive jackpot.

However, the focus now appears to be on Cork where it is rumoured a syndicate of up to 30 people may have clinched the massive jackpot.

The National Lottery were remaining tight lipped about where the winning ticket was purchased.

It is also widely rumoured that the winning ticket was sold at Fitzpatrick's Newsagents in Glounthaune. Kerry O'Neill from Fitzpatrick's told Red FM that's there's great excitement in the area.

"There's fierce excitement and a great buzz about the place with our own customers today and people calling to see," she said. "It's a local company, hopefully with local customers of ours. Fingers crossed it's us and them that's involved in it."

A spokesperson for the National Lorry told Independent.ie that they have received no official reports yet about Ireland's tenth EuroMillions winner.

Such was the level of frenzy after the win was announced at 9pm, the National Lottery’s EuroMillions website crashed for a time on Tuesday night.

The winning numbers drawn were: 1, 5, 7, 17, 23, while the lucky stars were 3 and 8.

The win marks the third-biggest jackpot in Ireland and the 10th time that an Irish ticket holder has won the top prize since 2004.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, CEO of the National Lottery Dermot Griffin said the winner will not receive their cheque until next week.

"I’m sure if they go to the bank they’ll be good for a loan," he joked.

"We had about 400,000 entries in the Euromillions draw so we advise all our retailers to check their tickets today.

"With a jackpot this big, we have to collect the money from other countries. It’ll be next week before they get the money."

JACKPOT

According to the National Lottery, there has been just one Irish winner of the whopping €88,587,275 jackpot, while the location of where the ticket was sold remained a mystery this morning.

A number of users on Lottery.ie reported difficulties accessing the website and app after the draw last night.

It is understood that the temporary issues were caused as a result of the sheer volume of users trying to log on at the same time.

On social media this morning people have been speculating about whether their colleagues have scooped the windfall and offering to help the winner out.






The massive win, however, is still far off the €115m haul that former cleaner Dolores McNamara (right) from Limerick walked away with in 2005.

Her stroke of luck instantly put her on the list of the top one hundred richest people in the country.

A ticket for the second-biggest win was sold in Beaumont, north Dublin in June 2013 worth close to €94m in which the jackpot was split with another winner from Belgium.

A couple, who chose to remain anonymous, also won a €15m jackpot in July 2008.

But that still paled in comparison to the €29.4m won by a family syndicate who also chose to remain anonymous in June 2009.

In September 2013, a man from the southeast split a winning jackpot of €25.6m – later admitting that he chose one of the numbers by mistake.

Even Taoiseach Enda Kenny was bitten by the Lotto bug when he called into Staunton’s Costcutter’s on Main Street in Castlebar – his home town – to congratulate the shop owner who sold a winning ticket worth €15m to a family in April 2014.

Other winners have included a syndicate from Dublin that scooped €86.7m after buying a ticket in a local shop in Ballybrack in September 2014.

A group of friends also split the jackpot and picked up €66 million in January 2016 after buying a winning ticket sold in the Fairgreen Shopping Centre in Carlow.

One of the most heart-warming lotto-winner stories was about a group of hard-working Dublin Bus drivers who collectively won almost €24m last July.

BIGGEST

The syndicate of 22 each bagged a cool million euro each. Yet despite this, they all vowed to return to work the following day after arriving at the lotto headquarters in Dublin in a double decker bus - driven by someone else.

Up until last night, there had been nine EuroMillions winners in Ireland so far.

The biggest of those was of course Dolores McNamara in 2005.

EuroMillions is played in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

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