Lotto jackpot winner told to get financial advice before collecting cheque

Shop owner says week has been ‘bittersweet’ with sale of ticket after loss of grandmother

A record-breaking €19 million National Lottery ticket which won last Saturday’s draw was sold at Laura Scriney's newsagents shop in Castlebar. Video: Enda O'Dowd

 

The burning question – who matched six numbers in Saturday’s “must be won” €19.06 million Lotto jackpot draw – still remains tantalisingly unanswered.

That principal character was glaringly absent, but much talked about, on Wednesday when Lotto representatives brought champagne and helium-filled balloons to Castlebar, Co Mayo, to celebrate with winning shop owner Laura Scriney.

National Lottery press officer Fran Whearty gave nothing away in response to media questions, except that the winning quick pick was purchased on Saturday and that the winner had been in touch with National Lottery HQ.

“We advised the ticket holder to go away and get some legal and financial advice before collecting their cheque,” Mr Whearty explained.

Ms Scriney reflected to reporters on a “bittersweet” week in which she lost a beloved grandmother and afterwards sold the elusive €19 million jackpot ticket.

“Recent days have been such a mixture of emotions,” she said. “On this day last week, Granny Scriney (95) was in the funeral home. Today it’s a totally different story.”

Ms Scriney says she “hasn’t a clue” as to the identity of the winner.

It is possible but no certainty that a local Castlebar person or syndicate won the jackpot. “We get customers from all over as Castlebar is such a popular shopping town. The winner could be from Bangor Erris, Claremorris or Ballinrobe, anywhere,” she says.

Significant luck

“I have my regulars but there’s plenty coming from farther afield. Whoever won, I wish them the best of luck.”

Ms Scriney, who opened her store near Castlebar Town Centre in September 2019, has enjoyed significant luck Lotto-wise.

Two months after she opened, a customer won a sizeable amount on Winning Streak. Last July, the shop sold a winning Telly Bingo ticket worth €60,000.

Ms Scriney stands personally to gain €15,000, the prize for the winning store.

She hasn’t yet decided what to do with her windfall. “It [the money] will be very welcome,” she said. “It’s been a difficult two years.”

Being officially named as the retailer who had sold the winning ticket came as a huge shock, she says.

“There were so many rumours going around town that it could be this retailer or that retailer. Never once did I think it was going to be me.

“I got an awful shock when I saw two National Lottery representatives on my doorstep last evening as I was closing, informing me I was the winning retailer.”

Saturday’s jackpot win by a person who matched six numbers came after more than 60 draws over seven months. Saturday was the first “must be won” National Lottery draw which if no one had matched six numbers could have seen the prize shared among those who matched five numbers and a bonus number, or, if still no winners, those who matched five numbers.