It might be a cliché to talk about the luck of the Irish, but whether it’s finding four-leaf clovers or simply being smiled on by good fortune, there have certainly been some big money winners over the years. And, with the recent announcement of another six-figure winner in the Daily Millions Prize Draw, it’s a trend that’s definitely continuing.
One of the first of the really big wins, and it really was huge, was back in 2005 when Dolores McNamara from Limerick scooped the €115 million EuroMillions jackpot. She immediately put her winnings to good use, buying all of her six children houses of their own while splashing out on a modest €3.5 million mansion in County Clare for herself.
More recently, a County Down couple, Pat and Frances Connolly, ensured a brilliant start to 2019 by also winning €115 million in EuroMillions New Year’s Day draw. The couple had a list of 50 others whose lives they also hoped to transform with some of the cash – a great New Year’s resolution if ever there was one.
Obviously, not everyone in the world has access to every lottery, but there is a way that you can bet on winning numbers and pick up prizes that closely correspond to the actual wins. It’s a form of fixed-odds betting that has no direct link with the lottery in question, which provides an alternative way to win.
Another very notable traditional lottery win came in 2007 for the Cunningham family from County Cork who suddenly found themselves €16.1 million the richer. The family: mum, dad, and children Shane, Steven, Amy, Sarah, and Paul couldn’t believe the media attention that they attracted – but then it was the biggest prize ever recorded at the time. The lucky win came from a €4 Quick Pick ticket and the family said that they aimed to go on enjoying their previous happy life – just with a lot more money.
There have also been some great stories of syndicates being able to share out some very substantial winnings over the years. In 2008, a group of 16 workers from the Morrissey stone quarry in County Carlow paid €2 each for a share in a Quick Pick ticket. This went on to win them a total of €18.9 million, or around €1.2 million each. Not surprisingly, only a couple of the syndicates turned up for work the day after they’d discovered the win.
Eight years later, in 2016, it was the turn of a 22-strong group of Dublin bus drivers to celebrate when they shared €23.8 million. Unlike the quarry workers who had headed for the hills, the drivers were proud to arrive at the lottery headquarters in a convoy of buses to pick up the cheque.
Not everyone has been quite so forthcoming and there is an ever-growing list of anonymous winners including the National Lottery’s 400th ever winner who picked up €16.3 million in April 2010.
All that was revealed was that he was a man from Dublin who had invested in a €30 ticket – not a bad return by anyone’s reckoning!
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