Shop staff toast winner of €5m lotto jackpot


STAFF AT a shop in Co Tipperary were celebrating with champagne yesterday after confirming they had sold Saturday’s winning lotto jackpot ticket worth nearly €5 million.

The delighted crew at Ryan’s Centra shop and filling station in Newport were flooded with hundreds of excited local people buying more lotto tickets in the hope they too would become overnight millionaires.

However, the identity of the lucky ticket holder remained unknown last night as gossip spread through the parish of who will be celebrating all the way to the bank this Christmas.

Owner Tom Ryan (47), who runs two other Centra stores in Limerick, said: “The news came through to us in the pub last night and we couldn’t believe it, it made a right job of the night. I rang Danny, my manager at the shop in Newport, and the rest of the lads and they all joined us and we had a super night. Unfortunately, we don’t know who it is. I’d be hoping it would be a local person.”

It wasn’t the first time one of Mr Ryan’s shops popped the champagne corks on selling a big lotto winning ticket.

“We’ve been very lucky here, we were only open a few months and we sold a Lotto Plus ticket worth around €350,000. A few weeks ago we shared a Telly Bingo ticket and someone won around €4,000. About five years ago we sold a lotto ticket in Limerick and the person got over a million euro, so we’ve been very lucky,” said Mr Ryan.

“There’s a great great buzz around Newport, especially this morning. The word got out early and loads of people were off checking their tickets but no one has come ashore yet anyway. Hopefully it’s someone local and I have a feeling it is, because we get a load of local trade on Saturdays, as opposed to the rest of the week when we get a good passing trade too,” he added.

The Co Limerick native said he would be treating staff to more celebrations last night in his local pub, The Stroller, in the village of Ballyneety, where a planned “postmortem on who it might be” would continue.

Mr Ryan’s wife, Brenda, said the excitement will continue to build as rumours grow as to who the winner is.

“It’s great. The only thing is I didn’t buy the ticket, which is the only downside,” she laughed.

Mr Ryan employs about 150 between his Centra shops in Newport, Tipperary, and Raheen, Askeaton in Co Limerick.

The manager of the Newport store, Daniel Hogan, said he was surprised when he heard the news. “The buzz is unreal, just brilliant. Everyone dreams of winning it and then when it happens, it’s brilliant.”