Saturday 19 October 2019

Record Lotto winner biding his time

Lotto winner Paul Cunningham
Lotto winner Paul Cunningham
The National Lottery's Paula McEvoy speaks to the media outside the Lottery headquarters in Dublin yesterday waiting for jackpot winner Paul Cunningham to arrive

Shane Hickey and Ann Marie Walsh

AND the wait goes on. Three days after the Lotto victory that changed his life, Corkman Paul Cunningham left it for another day to claim his €16m fortune.

Having quit his job as a bar manager in Blackpool, the father of five was holed up in a secret location yesterday, leaving a waiting media pack to relax in the sunshine outside the National Lottery headquarters in Dublin.

After winning the largest jackpot in the history of the game with a €4 quick pick, it is unlikely that Mr Cunningham is worried about the €1,000 interest a day he is losing as a result of his reticence to cash in.

Suffice to say that when he does come forward, there will be a welcoming media brigade waiting for him.

About 30 photographers and TV and radio reporters perched in wait yesterday from 7.30am until the close of the offices on Abbey Street.

"It's a lovely sunny day, but I'm afraid we don't have the winners today," said lottery spokeswoman Paula McEnvoy at 11.30am.

"We don't have a time or date of arrival and don't have any information to make us believe it's today.

"They have 90 days. We've had no contact since yesterday," she said.

"We look forward to seeing you (the winner) soon and we will keep the champagne on ice. Every winner has to come through the front door and the cheque has to be picked up here and signed by everyone who has a share in the winnings."

Two hours later, Ms McEvoy left the building laden with two pharmacy bags and started to distribute sun tan lotion to the hacks. Smoothies were also doled out in the sweltering heat.

Meanwhile, a lucky Waterford EuroMillions player was also expected to drop in after being one number short of the jackpot. The ticket, bought in Corbally's supermarket in Tramore, is worth €387,553.

A few savvy reporters bought camping chairs from a shop on Talbot Street at €15 a go - a good investment if Mr Cunningham decides to string people out for much longer.

With 90 days to claim the prize, this could be a long wait.

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