AN understandably ecstatic couple from Co Kildare plan to buy a holiday home in the sun after collecting a cheque for €500,000 from National Lottery HQ.
The duo won the EuroMillions Plus top prize on Friday 23 August with a ticket they bought on the National Lottery app, becoming the 17th top prize winners in Ireland this year. They plan to set themselves up for the future by doing what most of us can only dream of – paying off their mortgage and buying a holiday home in the sun.
The lucky pair have opted to keep their win private, but explained that on the night of the draw they went to bed blissfully unaware that their numbers had come up.
“The night of the draw, we checked our online lottery account and seen that our balance was at zero, so we automatically assumed that we didn’t win anything,” one of the winners said. “When we got up the following morning, I checked my email and there was a message from the National Lottery with the subject, ‘congratulations – you are a winner’. My initial reaction was that there must have been a mistake because my balance was still at zero. We checked and doublechecked the ticket and I swear, we haven’t stopped jumping around since, it’s an incredible feeling.”
The couple toasted their win with a glass of champagne in the National Lottery winners’ room and noted that they almost missed out on the windfall – they had originally planned to drop the Plus option on their EuroMillions ticket in an effort to save €1.
“We weren’t even going to play the Plus with our EuroMillions ticket,” they explained. “It was a five-week month between paydays so we were a bit tight financially and we thought we could save an extra euro by not playing it. We had our numbers picked on the phone and before we purchased the ticket, we said ‘feck it’ and added the Plus game as well – I don’t think we’d ever have forgiven ourselves if our numbers came up and we would have lost out on a half million for the sake of a euro!”
Spending plans are now underway, but the couple described themselves as sensible people who won’t be getting carried away. Alongside paying off what remains on their mortgage, and some bills, their “pipe dream” of owning a home abroad – preferably with a swimming pool – is about to come true.
“It’s one of those little fantasies which we’d talk to each other about when the rain is pelting on the windows outside,” one said. “But that’s all it was – a fantasy. Realistically, it’s never something that would have happened until now. Once the dust has settled down we will start looking at properties in our price range, it’s incredibly exciting.”