Saturday 21 April 2018

Countdown is on as €8.2m Lotto jackpot deadline set to expire at 5pm today

A solicitor acting for the largest ever lotto jackpot win in Sligo of €8.24 million says the person had presented the ticket several weeks ago but the National Lottery wouldn't pay out
A solicitor acting for the largest ever lotto jackpot win in Sligo of €8.24 million says the person had presented the ticket several weeks ago but the National Lottery wouldn't pay out

Cathal McMahon and Greg Harkin

The National Lottery still hasn’t handed over an €8.2m jackpot just hours before the deadline is due to expire.

A person came forward to claim the prize from the March 5 draw but lotto operator Premier Lotteries Ireland still hasn’t paid out.

The 90-day deadline for payment is due to expire this evening.

Earlier this week a spokesperson for the National Lottery told the Irish Mail: "The National Lottery at all times works to ensure due process in our claims procedure, in accordance with our statutory and regulatory obligations.

“As has always been the case, the National Lottery never comments on the specifics of individual claims to protect the privacy of the claimant.

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

Matt Lyons, Ann-Marie Porter and Marcus Lyons outside Matt Lyons shop.
Matt Lyons, Ann-Marie Porter and Marcus Lyons outside Matt Lyons shop.

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

The problem is believed to revolve around the operator’s rules on ticket validation.

Winning ticket must be intact and can't be "mutilated, altered, illegible, incomplete or tampered with in any manner," according to the lotto.

Athlone based lawyer Tony McLynn told RTE News a number of weeks ago: "Everybody’s happy now.

“The matter has been resolved, and the PLI [Premier Lotteries Ireland], the licence operator, has confirmed that appropriate interest along with the principal, will be paid in due course.

“So it’s a good outcome, everybody’s happy.”

He added that the winnings hadn't been transferred but that "the logistics of that just have to be sorted out, but that’s in hand".

Tony added about the cause of the delay: “There was a matter of clarification sought and that was resolved.”

The Lotto haven't commented on any of the lawyer's statements.

Speaking on behalf of his client, Tony McGlynn said despite the “excitement” of the win the delay of the €8.24million payment had been difficult to accept.

He added: “It has been [stressful].

"You take it in the context the excitement of winning and the expectation they’re going to have their money fairly quickly and then for whatever reason there’s a delay and they had concerns themselves from their point of view as to why there was a delay and maybe questioning the bona fides of the operator.”

The 'winning ticket' was sold by Matt Lyons in his shop in Sligo town on the day of the draw.

The winning numbers were 2, 8, 16, 24, 33, 42 with a bonus number of 47.

Normally under Lottery rules, a winner has 90 days to collect their prize.

This would give any winner of the March 5 draw until June 3, which is tomorrow, to claim the money.

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

“They say lightning doesn’t strike twice but it has here,” says 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 more people have been popping in to do the lotto than ever before. It has certainly been good for business.”

But he adds: “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.

Financial adviser Eamonn Brennan, who works for Irish Life, was doing his usual numbers in the shop this week.

“The rumours have been hilarious, especially the one where somebody wanted paid out in cash,” said Eamonn.

“Of course it’s all nonsense and I’m sure this will all be sorted out eventually. If it was me, I’d share it out with family and friends. With my job I’d certainly know how to look after €8M.”

Shop regulars Andy Dodd and his wife Regina also popped in for a QuickPick.

“It would be lovely to win that sort of money,” says Andy, a pharmaceutical rep.

“I certainly wouldn’t be engaging the services of a solicitor in Athlone. I’d be off on my holidays.”

Bernie Wynne adds: “It’s the talk of the town and I think at this stage everyone in the town has won the money if you were to believe any of the rumours, which I don’t.”

It appears not everyone is that bothered.

TK Max shop assistant Rachel Feeney (20) says: “I don’t do the lottery and I haven’t heard that much talk about it. Maybe some people have mentioned it but I just switch off.”

The National Lottery says it is still engaging with the ticket holder and will make an announcement only when the jackpot is paid out.

The 90-day rule only applies to making a claim to a prize and there is no time limit on a pay-out, it said.

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

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