'My €88m EuroMillions hoax was hilarious,' says shopkeeper as city gripped by jackpot fever
Dublin was whipped into a frenzy after lotto chiefs confirmed the winning EuroMillions ticket was bought in the capital – with all eyes on Clondalkin.
The National Lottery said the €88.5m winner was sold in a Dublin shop, but didn’t specify the location.
Early this week, the rumour mill generated a flurry of claims that a 36-strong Cork factory syndicate had won the top prize on Tuesday.
But the rumours switched to suggestions that the massive haul was actually bought in Clondalkin, Dublin.
These rumours cranked up a notch when Lotto representatives confirmed the sale in the capital – but it all turned out to be a hoax.
One shop worker told the Herald he had started all the talk that the winning ticket was sold in Clondalkin.
David McInerney, from Tuthills Newsagents proudly said he was responsible for circulating the rumours.
“I had a big feeling that I sold it. One chap came into the shop on Tuesday to buy his weekly ticket and I advised him to buy it on Friday instead. But he said that he’d stick with his gut and get it then,” he said. “I thought about that guy several times later on and actually thought that he might win it.
“Then when it was announced that the winning ticket was bought in Ireland I took to Facebook to say I sold it.
“Everyone started liking and sharing it, then I said that there’s a word going around that it was sold in Tuthills in the Mill Centre.”
David said that the rumours, which travelled all across the city, even prompted some people to put money on Clondalkin being the location.
“The following day I went to the bookies for bingo and overheard a woman talking to someone saying ‘Did you hear about the Mill Centre?’ Someone won the winning ticket in Tuthills.
“I just thought it was hilarious and great fun seeing how hopeful everyone was.”
Asked what he would do with €88m, David said that he would buy Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard for an Irish club team.
Clondalkin local Emma Gordon said she would be on the next plane out of Ireland if she hit the jackpot.
“I would have such a good time trying to spend it in all sorts of places but I’d be very generous with it too,” she said.
Karen Byrne also said that she would leave the country and go down under to Australia.
“I’m only back from there now after visiting my nephew. It’s such a nice country that I could easily see myself living the high life over there,” she told the Herald.
Another man in Clondalkin said that if he was the winner, he would definitely go public.
“Then they’d kidnap my missus,” he joked.
Early speculation linked a 36-strong syndicate of cleaners, maintenance workers, general operatives and administrative staff from Janssen pharmaceuticals in Little Island on the outskirts of Cork, with the win.
Numerous Janssen staff, questioned by the Herald, denied any knowledge of the winning syndicate while confirming they had all heard the local rumours.
“There are more than 1,000 staff spread between the two sites in Little Island and the plant in Ringaskiddy,” one worker said.
“I’m in a syndicate with some friends here and we certainly didn’t win. Hand on heart.”
Another Janssen employee arriving at the facility for work at 8am yesterday laughed off reporters questions.
“If I won the €88m do you think I’d be walking to work in the wind and cold?” one man joked.