Lotta Lotto Luck!

November 26th, 2018 1:02 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Paul Connolly with staff members Agnieszka, Agne, Rasa, Tony, John, Sonata and Leanne at Spar Cork Rd in Skibbereen, who were absolutely delighted to sell the winning €1m Lotto ticket. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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Skibbereen is officially Ireland’s most successful lottery town


FOR one heart-stopping moment, the owner of Spar Cork Road, Skibbereen, thought the €1m winning lottery ticket might have been his.

Paul Connolly, who has run the Spar Applegreen service station for the last 20 years, said that when the National Lottery rang him at 10pm on Saturday to say the €1m winning €6 Quick Pick was purchased at his store, he dared to think it might have been his.

He said: ‘The call put the heart cross-ways on me. I had played the Lottery on Saturday night and, when they rang me and told me there was a €1m winner in my store, I was aware that I had yet to check my ticket.

‘Marieke, my partner, and I used the National Lottery App to check the ticket and the word ‘congratulations’ popped up. I swore with excitement, but Marieke said: ‘Look, it’s just €3.’ Paul said that caused him to swear a few more times, but with a laugh and a shrug of the shoulders, he said: ‘It’s fine, but who wouldn’t like to win a €1m? It could be life-changing, without being over the top.’

Paul said he and his seven full-time and 20 part-time staff members are still fielding questions about the win.

‘We have a lot of locals in the store,’ said Paul, ‘and they are all anxiously checking their tickets in the hope that they have the one that’s worth €1m.’ 

For data protection reasons, Paul said the National Lottery does not release the time that the winning ticket was sold and, given its location at Cork Road, the shop has a lot of passing traffic, so the winner could be anybody. 

Skibbereen enjoys a reputation as being Ireland’s luckiest Lotto town and Paul’s shop has had previous wins. 

Paul confirmed: ‘This is our biggest Lotto win to date and we could not be happier for our customers. Usually, when people are buying petrol, or a snack, they make an impulse purchase of a lottery ticket, so sales are generally brisk, but since Sunday the sales of Lotto Plus tickets have increased.’

Paul said: ‘Hickey’s newsagents set the standard – in terms of lottery wins in Skibbereen – but other shops in the town had plenty of success too including Crowley’s, Londis and us. ‘We had another big win about four years ago. The last one was also a Lotto Plus, and €500,000 was won by a very happy local man.’ 

It is the third time that a Cork winner has won the Lotto Plus 1 top prize of €1m since the top prize doubled from €500,000 following Lotto and Lotto Plus game enhancements, which were introduced on September 1st.

On Saturday, November 3rd, the Lotto Plus 1 top prize of €1m was won in Carrigtwohill, while on October 24th another lucky Lotto player in Cork won the €1m prize with a ticket they bought in Mallow.

The National Lottery is urging players in the county to check their tickets to see if they are Ireland’s newest millionaire. The winning numbers for the Lotto Plus draw were: 04, 25, 27, 28, 39, 41 and the bonus number was 29.

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