Hit the jackpot in Dublin 4
This penthouse in The Sweepstakes has been fitted and styled to the last
The details of a court dispute between a Sligo hairdresser and her Turkish husband over the ownership of an IR£602,000 Lotto ticket win had Ireland's gossips salivating back in 1993. Mrs Jacinta Yilmaz a hairdresser from Sligo, claimed she was given only £100,000 out of the total win and that her husband, Kemal, had refused to give information about the rest of the money.
Jacinta, who met her husband in Turkey the year before the win, said she gave Kemal £2 to go and buy a Lotto ticket. Following the win, Kemal had moved from Sligo to a luxurious penthouse apartment at the newly built Sweepstakes scheme in Ballsbridge for which he had gone "sale agreed" after putting down a deposit.
Mrs Yilmaz claimed that, as the person who had provided the money for the ticket, the winnings would belong to her or, at the very least, that they would be shared between them. She obtained an injunction preventing Kemal removing assets from the state. But the public were denied details of the settlement, which took place out of court.
As the name suggests, the luxurious Sweepstakes scheme has had previous form with lottery controversy. Established by William T Cosgrave's government in 1930 to fund the nascent healthcare system, the Irish Hospitals' Sweepstake which was headquartered on the site, is today regarded as one of the state's biggest controversies.
In its 57 years it raised some £170m from around the world for hospitals and helped to do away with TB. But it also made multimillionaires of its principals - Joe McGrath, Richard Duggan and Spenser Freeman - and their descendants. The hospitals, it turned out, were getting only about 10% of the money raised.
The Sweepstakes were wound up in 1987 with the establishment of the National Lottery.
The site was acquired by developers Michael, Peter and Joe Cosgrave, who in 1991 built the Sweepstakes development on the site, describing it as "Dublin's first major development to combine houses and apartments".
The Cosgraves are among a handful of boom-era developers whose work still elicits high praise. Their schemes continue to have a reputation for high-quality construction and for going the extra mile when it comes to energy efficiency and the use of green space.
The Sweepstakes is no exception. Though now more than a quarter of a century old, the development has benefited from features that don't date, such as a location right in the thick of things in highbrow D4, high energy-efficiency ratings and impeccably cared-for grounds that include a water feature. The blocks were designed to last with an expensive red-brick finish, elegant white rails and fanciful turret towers that set them apart from the cookie cutter blocks that typically followed from many developers in the boom years.
Number 57 The Sweepstakes is a penthouse apartment towards the northern end of the development, near the riverbank. It's one of two in the block and is triple-aspect, with no less than three balconies offering views towards the Dublin Mountains and over the grounds.
According to the Property Price Register, Number 57 last sold in 2015, when it fetched €677,000. The following year it got a makeover and is now fitted and styled to the last.
It has double-glazed windows and gas-fired central heating (with a gas-fitted fireplace), so the energy rating is a perfectly respectable B3.
It has floors of engineered oak, mirrored fitted wardrobes and a gadgety kitchen that includes an induction hob, an integrated dishwasher, a fridge-freezer and one of those taps that gives you boiling water instantly.
The apartment is 933 sq ft in size and now has two bedrooms, though originally there were three. Both bedrooms have doors to separate balconies and the main bedroom has an en-suite with a bath and shower.
The kitchen and dining room is much bigger than the average apartment's cooking and eating space, measuring about 24ft by 10ft. It's dual-aspect and there are doors to two balconies, so you can follow the sun around or, if you're not a morning person, have one balcony to yourself and confine your roommate to the other one.
Next to this is the living room, which is also dual-aspect and measures 18ft by 13ft. The fireplace here is in Portuguese limestone and there's a glass door leading out onto the third balcony (shared with the master bedroom).
The balconies are made of composite decking and have recessed lighting. For storage, there's an attic space with pull-down stairs.
You can escape from the development by means of a walkway along the banks of the Dodder, and that will get you to Lansdowne Road DART station in less than five minutes. Or you can exit through the main gate and get to Ballsbridge in about the same time.
The apartment has an alarm and a security camera and comes with one designated indoor parking space. There's a management fee of €2,593 a year but The Sweepstakes has an on-site caretaker, so there's that to consider as well. It would be a wise course to allocate a little of your budget for gifts to the caretaker from time to time. An occasional Lottery ticket might do, since the land seems to be so lucky.
The agent for the sale is DNG Central (01) 679 4088 and the asking price is €825,000.
57 The Sweepstakes
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Asking price: €825,000
Agent: DNG Central, (01) 679 4088