Call to waive privacy laws to flush out Lotto winner

THE owner of a shop which sold an unclaimed winning Lotto ticket worth €350,000 has said privacy constraints should be waived so that people do not lose out on a potential fortune.

A Lotto Plus 1 top prize worth €350,000 went unclaimed after the winning ticket was bought in Costcutter Express on the North Circular Road in Phibsborough, Dublin 7, in September.

The 90-day window closed on November 29 and the money has gone back into National Lottery promotions, as well as the €1m added to the Lotto jackpot on Christmas Eve.

Staff in the Costcutter shop said the identity of the ‘winner’ remains a mystery.

Colm Allen, store manager and owner, said he was ‘frustrated’ that the National Lottery would not tell him the exact time the ticket was purchased, as he would then have been able to pinpoint the buyer on in-store camera footage.

“We couldn’t because the National Lottery wouldn’t tell us what time the ticket was purchased at. If I had known I quite possibly might have been able to identify who it was.

“We asked every single customer who came in to check their lottery tickets at home.

“We are up the road from Croke Park and the Sunday previous Dublin were playing Down. The ticket was purchased on a Tuesday and we have a lot of foreign nationals, and people coming and going.”

Attempts were made to publicise the win so that the buyer would come forward, but to no avail. It seems identifying the ticket buyer through camera footage would have been in breach of privacy rights, a situation described by Mr Allen as “bureaucracy just gone stupid, that someone has won €350,000 and you can’t help them. It’s frustrating.”

Meanwhile, someone could be having a very merry Christmas this year worth a cool €436,000 — they just might not know it yet.

The National Lottery has confirmed that the winner of a EuroMillions Match 5+1 Lucky Star prize worth €436,471 from the draw on November 26 has yet to make contact to collect their prize.

The €3 Quick Pick ticket was bought in Reddan’s Store, Sixmilebridge Post Office, Ennis, Co Clare, and staff there admitted they are surprised that no one has yet laid claim to the cash.

A worker in the shop told the Irish Examiner that the identity of the winner was known and she was likely to be collecting her winnings in the very near future.

The National Lottery also confirmed that a Millionaire Raffle Bonus Draw prize worth €250,000 also remains unclaimed. The draw took place on November 27 and the ticket was bought in Kiernan’s Service Station, Dublin Road, Cavan.

The unclaimed prizes figure for 2009 is around €20 million, but a spokes- person for the National Lottery said no figure had been finalised for this year.

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