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Saturday 20 January 2018

Staff at €87m Lotto shop will share €25,000 bonus

Pictured at the celebrations were from left to right: Dave Whelan, owner, Centra; Dean OíConnor, shop assistant; Karen Whelan, wife of owner; Simon Collier, shop manager and Emmet Smiles
Pictured at the celebrations were from left to right: Dave Whelan, owner, Centra; Dean OíConnor, shop assistant; Karen Whelan, wife of owner; Simon Collier, shop manager and Emmet Smiles
Dave Whelan, owner, Centra and Simon Collier, shop manager pictured at the celebrations
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

THE staff of the shop that sold a winning €87m EuroMillions ticket will share a €25,000 bonus - after they enjoy a massive party.

Dave Whelan, who owns the Centra shop in Ballybrack, Dublin, said the 16 staff would each get a cut of the agent bonus for selling the ticket.

"A big staff party and then whatever is left we'll divide among the staff," Mr Whelan said when asked what his plans for the €25,000 were.

The bonus, which the shop will get for selling the ticket, will be taxed, so each staff member is likely to receive less than €1,000.

Meanwhile, Mr Whelan said he does not think he'll ever find out who bought the winning ticket.

Although he had previously joked that he knew exactly who was €87m better off, he admitted yesterday that it is a mystery.

"I haven't got a clue," he said, adding that most of the trade in the shop was from local people.

"It's very busy, but it's very local, not much of a passing trade from the point of view of a car pulling up and it being a stranger.

"The real possibility is that it's a local person. It's absolutely fantastic. It's a great boost for ourselves.

"There'll be a great buzz now for a couple of weeks about who was the winner - there'll be a million people talking about who was the person who bought the winning ticket."

Champagne was flowing yesterday as locals gathered at the shop to celebrate the success.

All talk was about who had scooped the huge prize.

Local man Andy Fitzgerald said that while he plays the Lottery every week, he was not the winner.

"It wasn't me, I just came down here and now I see all the excitement," he said.

Centra manager Simon Collier said he only found out the shop had sold the winning ticket yesterday, having been away on holiday.

"It was a complete surprise," he said. "The boss came in and the two lads came in from the Lotto and I assumed it was some sort of routine check.

"We got a new machine in, so I was kind of expecting it was just something to do with that."

Mr Collier said that when he was told the shop had sold the winning ticket, he was in "complete shock".

hnews@herald.ie

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