Somewhere in Ireland this morning, somebody woke up with a jackpot lottery ticket worth a record €175 million.
News of the country’s latest EuroMillions mega-winner emerged late last night, when the magic ticket was confirmed to have been bought in Ireland.
There was just one winner with the numbers 01, 08, 18, 19 and 39, and with Lucky Stars 07 and 09.
Although lottery winners can choose to remain anonymous, it should soon emerge where in the country the ticket was sold, sparking a frenzy of speculation as to exactly whose life was miraculously transformed overnight.
The jackpot has topped the island of Ireland’s largest-ever win, just over a month after the last record was set.
At the beginning of January, Co Down couple Frances and Patrick Connolly laid claim to €127 million from the New Year's Day draw and captured the public's attention with their promise to give away much of their newly acquired fortune.
Celebrating with a “hug and a cup of tea”, the pair spoke of the 50 or so people with whom they would share the spoils. There was plenty to go around: their jackpot was also ranked the fourth-largest in UK history.
As to whether the latest winner, or winners, will feel quite so generous may never be known but there will be no shortage of public anticipation.
Ireland's winning relationship with the continental draw began early and in style when Limerick woman Dolores McNamara swept to fame with a €115 million pay day in 2005.
Last year a EuroMillions jackpot of €17 million was scooped by the Stakelums Hardware syndicate in Thurles, Co Tipperary.
But it does not even take such huge numbers to capture the imagination. A €500,000 EuroMillions win last year left its Limerick winner too stunned to collect his prize, at least not immediately.
“I needed to take some time out to come to terms with it,” he said, waiting two months to hand over the winning ticket. Today, Ireland’s latest EuroMillions waiting game begins.
National Lottery chief executive Dermot Griffin on Tuesday night advised EuroMillions players to check their tickets .
“This is an incredible win for an Irish EuroMillions player. And a record win for the National Lottery we are thrilled . . . The shop that sold the winning ticket will not be revealed for a few days . . . Whilst this is a massive win it can come as a shock to a player and we advise them to stay calm, get good independent legal and financial advice and contact us as soon as they can.”
The maximum EuroMillions jackpot of €190 million has only been paid out three times in the history of EuroMillons, which is played in nine countries.
This is the 14th Irish EuroMillions win since the game was launched in Ireland in 2004.