Ireland’s €175m EuroMillions winner is a family syndicate

Spokesman says win is ‘dream come true’ for ‘normal family’ from Dublin

 

A large family syndicate from The Naul in North Co Dublin has emerged as the winner of Tuesday night’s €175.4 million EuroMillions jackpot.

The family were said to be “getting used to the idea” and “overjoyed” at their win.

A family spokesman, who is married to one of the syndicate, described the extent of their good fortune as “unbelievable”.

“ It will take us some time to get our heads around this win and to organize ourselves.”

He added: “We are a very close family. We meet every week and we take holidays together every year. This is a dream come through for us. We don’t want this to change our lives. What is so exciting is that we will be able to share this money with children, grandchildren and extended family members.”

One of the syndicate members realised their good fortune when she checked the winning ticket after Tuesday night’s draw. She said she had heard there was a win in Ireland and had caught the last three numbers.

“I checked the rest of the numbers online. I was numb! It took a bit of convincing everybody that we had won.”

The family member put the winning ticket in an Argos catalogue and put it under her mattress for safe keeping. “I didn’t sleep a wink all night!”

Excitement

On Tuesday the family deposited the winning ticket for safe keeping with the National Lottery and arrangements are now being made for the prize claim to be paid out in the next few weeks.

The family spokesman said they were aware of “great excitement over this win. We need time to let this news sink in and to prepare to collect our winnings. We are a normal family and we don’t want this to dramatically change our lives.”

Most members of the family are retired and are looking forward to having time to enjoy their winnings. They are a well known family in The Naul who have been in the areas for two generations.

This is the highest winning jackpot in the history of the National Lottery. The last highest win was €115 million won by Limerick woman Dolores McNamara on a EuroMillions jackpot in 2005.

National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin said “we are just so pleased for the family and that this huge amount is being shared out.”

Proximity to airport

Les Reilly, who runs the Daybreak store where it was purchased, said he had no information about Ireland’s largest lottery jackpot winner’s identity.

Mr Reilly said he was “stunned, delighted and very happy” to have sold the ticket and that he hoped the winner was a local person. He said about 80 per cent of his customers were local, but the shop does get its fair share of passing business given its proximity to the airport.

He joked that the shop has its own syndicate of 112 people and they won €38 on the draw, as opposed to the €175million jackpot But Les has a lucky streak the last big lottery win at the shop was by Les himself and the shop’s syndicate, which scooped €25,000 six years ago.

“ The village is just reeling in the news. There are balloons and champagne everywhere and The Naul is hopping. When I heard last night of an Irish winner, I thought it might be our own little syndicate so before I even tended to the newspapers this morning . . . I checked our numbers,” he said.

“We have a fantastic saying in our local football club Clann Mhuire which totally sums up today – #smallvillagebigdreams.”

Asked what advice he would give to the winners, Mr Reilly, who is due a prize from the National Lottery for selling the ticket, replied he would give most of it away “or maybe buy an island”.

Fianna Fáil TD for Meath East Thomas Byrne said he was “absolutely delighted” to hear that the jackpot had been won in his constituency.

Crashed

The National Lottery’s website crashed for a time on Tuesday night after it was revealed that a punter based in the State had won the €175,475,380 prize. There were plenty of jokes online about the winner being able to buy at least 10 bricks for the new national children’s hospital.

The numbers drawn were 01, 08, 18, 19, 39 with the Lucky Stars: 07, 09.

The jackpot had been rolling over for several weeks and the €175 million total is nearly €50 million more than the next biggest sum won on the island. Patrick and Frances Connolly from Co Down banked £115 million (€132 million) when they won the New Year’s Day EuroMillions jackpot. The €115 million won by Dolores McNamara, from Limerick, in July 2005 was previously the largest sum won in the Republic on the draw.