If you won the lottery and became a millionaire overnight, would you turn up to work after the weekend?
Twenty-two members of a Dublin Bus syndicate got lucky on Friday night when they won the Euromillions jackpot. Some, though, did not discover their good fortune until Saturday as none were at work.
The men scooped the €23,845,060 prize and each will take away €1,083,866.36.
On Monday morning five of the 22 turned up as usual for their shift at Broadstone garage in north Dublin. The rest, understandably, were given a day’s holiday.
Of the 22 winners, 20 are senior drivers, one is an inspector and the last is retired. Many of the winners are drivers who have been with Dublin Bus all their working lives.
“They are senior men. I’d imagine many of them felt obliged to turn up to work,” said Dublin Bus chief inspector Larry O’Brien.
“Some of them have 40 years service with us. They wouldn’t have made it as far as they did in Dublin Bus if they weren’t decent blokes. To a man they are a decent bunch of chaps.”
The drivers involved are all known as Euro drivers. They work split shifts during week days and never work weekends. The men work from 6am to 10am and from 4pm to 8pm to cover rush hour.
“I’m absolutely jealous,” Mr O’Brien joked, “actually I’m delighted for them. You do have to say that don’t you?”
Mr O’Brien said he had contacted all five working drivers by radio and none wished to talk about their Lotto win.
Like Dublin buses, you wait ages for a Euromillions win and then two arrive at once.
A different syndicate at Dublin Bus almost scooped the big prize themselves last Tuesday when they had four of the six numbers, yet they only shared €126 each. Had the other two numbers came in, they would have won €15 million between themselves.
John Cassidy, who won in that syndicate, said his colleagues who scooped the big jackpot were like "rabbits in a headlight" when they realised they were all millionaires.
“It was shock and disbelief and they realised it had really happened to them. They checked the numbers five or six times,” he recalled after meeting them on Saturday evening.
"They would be people that socialised together and go to matches together. Because of the nature of the shift work, we spend more time in each others company than we do sometimes with our own families. We're the best of friends," he told the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1.
“These people are mature adults. They have children and grandchildren. It is not as if they are going to go mad. We’re all thrilled for them.”
A steady procession of buses left Broadstone garage on Monday morning. If any of the drivers won the lottery, they were not revealing it to the media.
“If I won the lottery, would I be here?” a few of them opined.
An inspector, who did not want to named, said the men who turned up felt obliged to not let the travelling public down. Not all of them will be retiring either, he suggested, despite their new found wealth. “If you have two children and you buy them each a house, that’s €600,000 gone straight away.”
Dublin Bus chief executive Ray Coyne said he was delighted "for each and every one of them and their families.
“It is great to see such a large number of our employees sharing in the win. We wish them all the best.”
A spokesman for the National Lottery said they had yet to hear from the syndicate. "We would ask them to get in contact with us as soon as possible. Our lines are open. We will have the champagne ready," he said.
It is the ninth Irish winner of the Euromillions jackpot. In January a private syndicate won €66 million on the Euromillions lottery.
The 12th-highest jackpot in the competition's history was won by Dolores McNamara from Co Limerick, who collected a cheque to the value of €115,436,126 in July 2005.
Other winners in Ireland have scooped the jackpot with wins of €94 million, €29.4 million and €15 million.
EuroMillions is played in nine countries – Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.