A pair of American tourists, from North and South Carolina, won a combined €350,000 in separate National Lottery Scratch Card wins while on holidays in Ireland.
The first winner, a man in his sixties from North Carolina, has visited Ireland 11 times since his first trip in 2000. He will take home €250,000 from his Money Multiplier 40X scratch card, before visiting again next spring.
The retired public affairs professional always bases himself in Co Clare and bought his winning ticket in the Daybreak store on Main Street of Lahinch.
Bizarrely, the day before he scratched his way to a quarter of a million, he won €200 on a different scratch card.
“I couldn’t believe my luck winning €200 and I thought, ‘I’m not going to bring this home with me’. So I brought my friend Jimmy and his family out to dinner as it was supposed to be my last day in Ireland before I went home.
“Just before dinner I went into the same Daybreak and got another scratch card, scratched it and just couldn’t believe my eyes. I kept checking and checking it and after dinner I asked Jimmy to take a look and sure enough when I called the National Lottery they confirmed that I had won €250,000. I still cannot believe it.”
His flight home from Shannon was cancelled earlier this week due to Storm Ophelia but he was more than happy to stay an extra few days and pick up his cheque.
His friend, Jimmy Clancy of Kilcarragh B&B, said: “I am delighted for him. No better guy to deserve this windfall. He is someone who just loves this country – the music, the people, and the culture. I look forward to getting the call from him to say he is coming over for a stay.”
When asked about his next visit, he said: “Next spring. It’s not as if I cannot afford it!”
Just a few short hours later, a winner from South Carolina was claiming her winnings.
The woman, who is a dual citizen of Ireland and the US, in her seventies won €100,000 on a €100,000 Diamonds scratch card.
She purchased the ticket in the Post Office at the Rise in Mount Merrion, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
The lady, originally from Dublin, comes home every year to visit family and friends after leaving the country with her husband to work almost 50 years ago.
The Dublin-born winner said: “There really is no place like home and now we are retired it is fantastic that we can come back every year for a few weeks.
“We are over for five weeks this time – this time for a family wedding so it is great that we can celebrate this with the family before we return to South Carolina”.
Meanwhile, this Wednesday’s Lotto jackpot is an estimated €6.5 million.