independent

Sunday 18 November 2018

Sheer joy as group scoops €500,000!

Work syndicate overjoyed to win massive jackpot

Centra Irishtown staff members, front row: Siobhan O’Neill and Mairead Furlong. Back row: Mary Cullen, Ann Marie O’Brien, manager Maura O’Neill and Chris Bodden celebrating the€500,000 Euromillions winning ticket which was sold in the store last week. Photo;Mary Browne
Centra Irishtown staff members, front row: Siobhan O’Neill and Mairead Furlong. Back row: Mary Cullen, Ann Marie O’Brien, manager Maura O’Neill and Chris Bodden celebrating the€500,000 Euromillions winning ticket which was sold in the store last week. Photo;Mary Browne

David Looby

Speculation is rife as to who the lucky New Ross syndicate of work-mates is that scooped €500,000 in Tuesday's EuroMillions draw.

The winning ticket was sold at Sinnott's Centra in Irishtown the previous Wednesday and they picked up their winnings on Friday.

The delighted work-mates - who have been playing together in a syndicate for almost four years - won the top prize having played the EuroMillions Plus game at Sinnott's Supermarket.

News of the local win sent the syndicate members into a frenzy before the ticket had even been checked. The head of the syndicate described the scenes of elation as they found out that they had won the €500,000 prize: 'We heard very early on the Wednesday morning that the winning ticket worth half a million euro was sold in New Ross, so I started getting a couple of hopeful texts from the group enquiring if we won anything. We checked the ticket as soon as we got to work and it was just madness once we found out! Not everybody at work is in the syndicate but there has been a genuine outpouring of support and best wishes for us all,' they said.

After collecting their €500,000 win from National Lottery HQ in Abbey Street today, the group agreed that they would be taking their time to consider their win before they rush into any life-changing decisions: 'We still haven't really thought about how this massive win will affect us. We are all at different stages of our lives so have different plans for spending our share. The one thing we have in common is that we all want to make a difference to our families' lives. We'll take a little bit of time before we make any big decisions for our money,' they added.

Irishtown Centra's owner Martin Sinnott said he was thrilled to hear that a small local syndicate had won the prize.

'The Lotto rang me at 8.30 p.m. and the shop was decorated with balloons and bunting early the next day as staff celebrated the latest big win.'

Sinnott's supermarket is no stranger to selling large National Lottery prizes with their biggest win coming in 2001 when the store sold a winning £5.5 million (punts) Lotto jackpot ticket to a syndicate from Great Island power plant.

Martin said that celebrations are already under way in the town as the group celebrate their latest big winner.

'There's a great buzz about the town, knowing that some of our customers has woken up a half a million euro richer today. We are a busy shop in the heart of New Ross and we have a very loyal customer base in the area. We are fairly confident that the winner is a local so we'll raise a toast and celebrate their win in-store today.'

The lucky ticket holders will have been singing the EuroMillions Plus numbers: 14, 16, 25, 38, 39 ever since.

'This is the biggest win we've had in the store for quite some time,' Martin said.

'These are local families who are going to benefit. We get a cash commission and I bought a ticket this morning myself but as the man from the National Lottery said the horse had already bolted.'

Martin said customers would be inclined to buy more tickets after this latest coup for the supermarket and area.

'It's our third big win so you could say we're a lucky shop. We also had a €200,000 win in recent years. Specualtion is rife as to who the lucky winners are and people were checking their tickets. We are a local shop in the heart of the community and we don't get passing trade as opposed to petrol stations. The win will have a nice knock-on effect in the local economy and is positive news for New Ross and for the community,' Martin said.

A National Lottery spokesperson said: 'Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on all National Lottery games go back to good causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, community, arts, heritage and the Irish language. In total more than €5 billion has been raised for good causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago.'

Meanwhile, another Wexford man finally claimed his EuroMillions prize of €34,490 won eight weeks ago. The happy ticket holder, who attended the National Lottery Winners Room with his wife, matched five numbers meaning he was just two shy of the €100 million jackpot on the night of the draw, Friday, August 18. He bought the ticket at Dunnes Stores in the Bridgewater Centre, Arklow, and explained how he walked around for weeks with the ticket in his pocket without knowing he had won a substantial sum.

He said: 'It's bizarre. I was walking around for six weeks with this in my jacket pocket. I normally put my Lottery tickets in my wallet but didn't on this occasion. It's a major stroke of luck - I just keep thinking what if I had put the jacket in the washing machine. I found it one day rooting for my wallet and scanned it in the shop and it said to contact the National Lottery. And here we are today. I'm delighted.'

New Ross Standard

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