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Frenzy as girl jokes she is mystery €9m Lotto winner

A FACEBOOK message has sparked a frenzy in the hunt for Ireland's latest Lotto millionaire who scooped almost €9m in Wednesday night's draw.

The focus turned to a house in Sarsfield Square in Athlone when a local girl went online to say she was the lucky winner of the €8.7m jackpot.

Her family were immediately inundated with congratulatory phone calls and text messages.

When the teenager went back online to explain the message was a joke it could not stop the rumours. Not even the intervention of her mother could stop the tide of speculation that the family were now multi-millionaires.

One local explained: "A young lady was messing around saying she won the Lotto and people got excited about it. As far as we know, nobody from Sarsfield's won it." As the Sarsfield Square family denied the win, a steady stream of customers formed at the First Chapter shop in Goldenisland Shopping Centre where the winning €6 Quick Pick ticket was sold on Wednesday.

Shop owner Colin Mullins said: "We're delighted for whoever won it."

The winning numbers were 15, 31, 35, 38, 40, 45 and bonus number 11.