‘It’s impossible to explain’: Winners of record €19m Lotto jackpot claim their prize

Members of Co Mayo family syndicate plan to pay-off mortgages and help out friends and community

A large Co Mayo family syndicate has claimed the €19 million National Lottery jackpot they won last month, the largest in the history of the game in the State.

The syndicate, who have not been identified, won the prize on January 15th after buying a quick pick ticket at Laura’s XL store in Castlebar. The jackpot had been rolling over since early June.

After claiming their prize at National Lottery headquarters in Dublin, a member of the group recalled the moment they realised they had won.

“That Saturday night back in January is still a blur and even though we’re finally collecting a cheque for over €19 million, we’re still waiting for somebody to tell us that we made a mistake and we’re not the winners at all,” a spokesperson for the syndicate said.

“I had the ticket in my hand and to see the six numbers come out one after another was like an out of body experience – it’s impossible to explain.”

They added: “We didn’t get carried away one bit because we thought that there was no way we could have won it. We got the phones out and frantically started scanning (the ticket) on the National Lottery App.

“After about 20 minutes, the ticket scanned and a message popped up that will live with us all for the rest of our lives. It said, ‘You’ve won big!’ It was such an incredible moment.”

Excitement growing

The spokesperson said the family came to terms with the win away from Castlebar.

“In the days after the draw, it wasn’t publicly known where exactly the win was, so it was funny to see the excitement growing when it was announced in Mayo and then in Castlebar,” they said.

The group members said they would be seeking out guidance before making any big decisions on what to do with the money.

“While we all will have our own individual plans, the big thing we want to do is help our wider family, close friends and indeed our community in any way we can,” the spokesperson said.

“Of course, we will be paying off whatever mortgages and loans that we have but we have also drawn up a list of people to help in our communities and we look forward to helping out some charities and organisations in the coming months.

“It really is such an exciting time in our lives and we can’t wait to get started to changing peoples’ lives.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter