There is mounting speculation among the local community in Ballymahon over the identity of last Wednesday’s Lotto jackpot winner after it emerged the winning ticket was sold in the south Longford town.
The ticket, which was purchased in Smyth’s SuperValu on September 24, entitles the holder to no less than €2,968,171.
On Monday, it was announced a couple from the midlands had claimed the prize and had chosen to remain anonymous. In a written statement released by the National Lottery, the husband outlined the series of events leading up to claiming the prize.
“A relative mentioned that someone locally had won the Lotto jackpot so I rang my wife to ask her to double-check our ticket. She went online and rang me back immediately with the news. I couldn’t believe it. I had to race home to check it for myself!”
The couple are understood to have shared the news with their family and will celebrate this weekend before taking some time to assess how to use their winnings.
“We are so excited and completely overwhelmed by this life-changing win. It’s wonderful to be able to become financially comfortable and put some money aside for our children’s education,” the couple added.
“We’re just thrilled. This has come at the perfect time - we’re old enough to be sensible but still young enough to enjoy it!”
Pat Smyth, proprietor of the SuperValu outlet which sold the ticket, confirmed the couple are from the local area.
“They’re really nice people,” he said. “They’re salt of the earth and they’ve been shopping here all their lives.”
Mr Smyth added that many local people have been calling into the supermarket to see if any of the good luck rubs off on them.
“We’ve had a lot of people calling into the shop to wish the winners well, and many of them have gone out of their way to do the lotto here as they think it will give them a bit of luck, too,” he revealed.
On the streets of Ballymahon, locals have reacted positively to the news that one of their own is a Lotto winner.
“I have no idea who’s won it, but it’s fabulous that Ballymahon is in the news. It’s absolutely great,” said Mary Heneghan.
“€200,000 would have done me,” laughed Stephanie Gilchriest. “I work up in Mullingar and everyone I work with was asking if it was me!”
Accompanying her was Emma Teague who had her newborn daughter with her.
“In fairness, we won the lotto with this little one this week,” she said.
For those hoping for their own slice of good fortune, this Wednesday’s Lotto jackpot is an estimated €2.5 million.